Israel Celebrates Hostage Release

Dr. Munr Kazmir
5 min readNov 26, 2023

“On the wall it was written: ‘Am Israel Chai’ (The People of Israel Live)!” Israel’s Prime Minister said in an address to IDF troops on Sunday.

March for Israel, Washington, DC USA. November 14, 2023. (Photo: Ted Eytan)

“We are here in the Gaza Strip with our heroic soldiers — we are making every effort to return our hostages, and in the end we will return them all,” promised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in an address to IDF troops in Gaza on Sunday.

PM Netanyahu was Israel’s first Prime Minister to visit Gaza in nearly two decades.

Israel implemented a unilateral disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip in 2005. This initiative involved the complete withdrawal of Israeli military forces and the evacuation of all Israeli settlements from Gaza. It was a significant move aimed at ending Israel’s direct control over the Gaza Strip and transferring governance to the Palestinian Authority.

It was also a major concession to the Palestinian Authority by Israel’s government.

Under this “Peace” plan, Israel dismantled all Israeli settlements in Gaza and withdrew its military presence, including soldiers and settlers. The disengagement was a contentious and emotionally charged process within Israel, prompting intense political debates and protests among those who supported and opposed the withdrawal.

No Israeli PM has been able to visit since, as Hamas then used the Gaza concession to launch attacks on Israel, including rocket attacks and other forms of aggression.

In 2023, unlike 2005, however, Israeli officials like PM Netanyahu are in no mood whatsoever to make concessions or cede strategic ground to Hamas.

“We have three goals in this war: Eliminate Hamas, return all of our hostages and ensure that Gaza will not go back to being a threat to the State of Israel,” Netanyhu promised IDF troops on Sunday.

“I sat with the IDF Deputy Chief of Staff and the commanders,” Netanyahu told the assembled soldiers. “On the wall it was written: ‘Am Israel Chai’ (The People of Israel Live). Then Am Yisrael Chai and the people of Israel will also win thanks to you.”

Netanyahu was undoubtably keen to reassure Israel’s enlisted soldiers of his government’s firm commitment to resume the war after a short pause for hostage…