Amid talks in Qatar reportedly to widen hostage deals, PM, Gantz issue statements

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a press conference at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, November 22, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/ Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a press conference at the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv, November 22, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/ Flash90)

Amid reports from Qatar of talks on a further widening of hostage release deals, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and war cabinet minister Benny Gantz have issued somewhat ambivalent statements — insisting that all the hostages must and will be returned, without going into specifics.

“So far we’ve released 74 hostages — of whom 50 children and women were in the original framework,” says Netanyahu in a video clip filmed earlier today. “We are committed to completing this framework — to release all of our hostages, women and children. And after that, all of them, without exception.”

War cabinet minister Benny Gantz says, also in a video statement, “We are in the midst of days during which we are acting to return all of the female and male hostages that it is possible to release from captivity. And we will continue to use all means possible so that all of them are returned to their homes. After the ceasefire, the fire will resume. The entire war cabinet is unified on this position. There is no other option.”

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