update deskIsrael at War

Smotrich: ‘Vile Nazi’ Sinwar solely responsible for captives

The Israeli finance minister slammed suggestions the PM is not doing enough to free the hostages held in Gaza.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich at an Israel Defense and Security Forum conference in Ashkelon, Jan. 25, 2024. Credit: IDSF.
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich at an Israel Defense and Security Forum conference in Ashkelon, Jan. 25, 2024. Credit: IDSF.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on Sunday addressed accusations by some family members of hostages that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not doing enough to free the 134 hostages still held by Hamas in Gaza.

“The only person responsible for the hostages not returning home is the vile Nazi Yahya Sinwar,” Smotrich wrote on X, referring to the Hamas leader in Gaza and architect of the Oct. 7 attack.

He added that “all the military and political pressure in Israel and in the world should be directed exclusively towards him. Anything else harms the chance of returning them safely and quickly home and our emerging victorious in the war.”

Smotrich continued, “So too with the demand for flexible positions on our part in the negotiations—as has been proven time and time again, it only makes Sinwar harden his positions even more and pushes the return of the hostages further away.

“I call on the prime minister to stand firm in the face of irresponsible pressures that endanger the State of Israel and harm the goals of the war,” he said.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators calling for early elections and the release of the hostages took to the streets of Tel Aviv and other cities across Israel on Saturday night, in one of the country’s largest protests since the terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre.

For the first time since 253 people were abducted during the Hamas-led attack on the northwestern Negev, some of the families of the captives announced that they would join the anti-government protests.

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