The tense confrontation between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the delegation of both released hostages and families of hostages was recorded and then made available to Israel’s widely followed news agency Ynet. Among other things, Netanyahu was confronted on the plan to flood the Gaza tunnels, condemning the remaining hostages to death. It is clear to the delegation that Netanyahu prefers the deaths of the remaining hostages over the option of an actual ceasefire. Ynet reported on the confrontation from almost two weeks ago.
Throughout the meeting, there were demands for the cabinet members to promptly publicize the accounts of what all those held captive had endured. Key was their real fear, that Israeli bombs would end their lives. A former captive from Kibbutz Nir Oz explained: “We were in tunnels, terrified that it would not be Hamas, but Israel, that would kill us, and then they would say Hamas killed you.”
Another former hostage who returned with her children, but whose husband remains in Hamas captivity, said: “We felt as though no one was doing anything for us. The reality is that I was in a hideout that was bombed and we became wounded refugees. This doesn’t even include the helicopter that fired at us [on Oct. 7] on our way to Gaza. You claim there is intelligence, but the reality is that we were being bombed. My husband was separated from us three days before we returned to Israel and was taken to the tunnels. And you’re talking about flooding the tunnels with seawater? You are bombing tunnel routes exactly where they are located.”
A relative of a hostage told the War Cabinet: “We are running out of time. You don’t comprehend the enormity of our tragedy. We are completely drained. We haven’t slept for months. We are relying on medication. Take a stand and rescue these people.”