Far-right Otzma Yehudit party says it will oppose proposed hostage deal

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

The government’s far-right Otzma Yehudit party says it “will oppose” the burgeoning hostage deal, pushing instead for the Israel Defense Forces to continue its military pressure on Hamas.

“Hamas’s agreement to the deal indicates that the IDF is carrying out an effective strike, it is necessary to continue striking the enemy and bring it to a deal under conditions dictated by Israel and not under the very problematic conditions that endanger IDF forces and [makes] distinguishment among the abductees,” a statement from the party reads.

Before details of the proposed four-day ceasefire and a Palestinian prisoner release for 50 living hostages were disclosed, party leader Itamar Ben Gvir said earlier today that a hostage deal could bring “a disaster upon us.”

The national security minister’s party adds that the deal, which also requires a six-hour daily intelligence drone blackout, “would endanger the ground forces fighting in Gaza and undermine the war effort.”

In addition to giving preference for civilian children and their mothers over other hostages, the deal, Otzma Yehudit says, “will significantly reduce the chances of returning the remaining abductees held by Hamas, including our soldiers.”

The party instead says it wants a deal that will free all of the some 240 hostages held in Gaza.

The cabinet is meeting tonight to discuss the approval of the proposed deal.

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