Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Monday that while Israel wants to see a peaceful and prosperous Gaza Strip, the Hamas terror organization that rules it seeks the opposite.

In a video address posted on the Arabic-language Facebook page of the Israel Defense Forces Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Gantz wished Palestinians a happy Eid Al-Adha (“Festival of the Sacrifice”), and stated: “Our policy is clear. Security stability and a return of Israel’s sons held illegally by Hamas are the key to a better economy and to a better future for the whole region. I very much hope we can improve the future on behalf of all of us.”

Hamas is holding the remains of two IDF soldiers, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, as well as captive civilians who entered the Strip, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, both of whom suffer from mental-health issues and have been held by Hamas incommunicado.

During his address, Gantz said: “Today, exactly a year ago, during the 2020 Festival of the Sacrifice, we were still at the peak of the coronavirus crisis. A year has gone past, and I’m glad to say that our joint efforts, Palestinians and Israelis, Arabs and Jews, prove once again that when the common good and the neighbors good are at stake, every pandemic and challenge can be overcome. This is true for health issues and in many other issues where we will continue to cooperate.”


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