Smotrich: Release of Gaza hostages is ‘not the most important thing’ right now

Finance Minister and head of the Religious Zionist party Bezalel Smotrich leads a faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, February 12, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Finance Minister and head of the Religious Zionist party Bezalel Smotrich leads a faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, February 12, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The hostages held captive by Hamas in Gaza are “not the most important thing” for Israel to worry about, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich tells Kan radio in an interview about ongoing negotiations to secure the release of the 134 captives, not all of whom are alive.

Asked whether he considers the return of the hostages to be the most important aim of Israel’s war against Hamas — which began after the deadly October 7 terror onslaught — the far-right minister answers in the negative, saying that what matters most is to destroy Hamas.

“Why make it a competition?” he asks. “What is important now? We need to destroy Hamas.”

“It is extremely important,” he adds of the efforts to release the hostages, “but you need to understand that the saying ‘at any cost’ is problematic. We need to release the hostages, we need to put pressure on Hamas.”

Most Popular