Netanyahu’s war cabinet gives in to pressure from families of female soldiers captured by Hamas, decides to resume truce talks with militant group
05/28/2024 // Belle Carter // Views

Following the release of a video featuring female soldiers being held hostage by Hamas, the Israel war cabinet has decided to resume truce talks with the militant group.

The video that went viral on social media was released by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, a body established by the families of the abductees who were kidnapped in Gaza as part of the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel.

Hebrew media's translation of the video claimed that Hamas fighters described the prisoners as "women who can get pregnant," implying that the fighters had intentions to rape the women. However, the Arabic word used by the fighters to describe the soldiers was actually "sabaya," which simply translates to "female captives."

The soldiers captured by the Palestinian militants belong to the surveillance unit at Nahal Oz, which was responsible for the deaths of dozens of Palestinians during the 2018 Great March of Return.

According to analysts, the video has put Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his war cabinet – consisting of Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant and former Chief of the General Staff Benny Gantz, as well as three observers, Gadi Eizenkot, Ron Dermer and Aryeh Deri – under extreme pressure from the families.

Netanyahu's office said in a statement that the war cabinet has ordered Israel's negotiating team "to continue negotiations for the return of the hostages." At the high-level meeting, Israeli negotiator Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon presented an updated plan. This came after a previous plan for resuming talks was rejected by Netanyahu on May 18.

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A source told Hebrew media that Tel Aviv's negotiating team was given new directives to try to make a breakthrough in the prisoner talks. Said source knows the details of the high-level Israeli meeting but did not elaborate on the specific guidelines for resuming the talks. (Related: Netanyahu's war cabinet approves "calibrated expansion" of Rafah invasion to appease U.S.)

Ahead of the meeting, the Hostage Families Forum urgently requested to meet with the members of the war cabinet to discuss efforts to revive the hostage talks. Gallant, Gantz, Deri and Eisenkot all agreed to the hostage families' request for a meeting but Netanyahu and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer refused, reports indicated. Representatives of the prisoners' families have repeatedly accused Netanyahu's government of deliberately sabotaging talks.

Another source told Kan that the Israeli negotiating team did not receive everything it asked for but that "at least progress can be made."

Meanwhile, as the war cabinet convened inside the Israel Defense Forces' Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, several hundred people demonstrated outside calling on the government to agree to a hostage deal with Hamas. There was a similar demonstration in Jerusalem.

World leaders slam Israel's continued airstrikes

As Israel claims to be negotiating with Hamas to release its female soldiers who have been captive since the Oct. 7 attack, Netanyahu's troops continue to hold their military operations in Rafah, a Palestinian city in the southern Gaza Strip.

This earned the irk of the European Union's Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell, who said he is "horrified by the news coming out of Rafah on Israeli strikes killing dozens of displaced persons, including small children." "I condemn this in the strongest terms," he said, adding that there is "no safe place in Gaza. These attacks must stop immediately. [International Court of Justice] ICJ orders and [international humanitarian law] IHL must be respected by all parties."

Moussa Faki Mahamat, the head of the African Union Commission, also said the Israeli air strike on a camp for displaced Palestinian people in Rafah reflected "contempt" for a recent ruling by the United Nation's top court ordering Israel to halt its assault on the southern Gaza city. He turned to X and posted: "With horrific overnight airstrikes killing mostly Palestinian women and children... the State of Israel continues to violate international law with impunity and in contempt of an ICJ ruling two days ago ordering an end to its military action in Rafah." He added that the ICJ order must be urgently enforced if global order is to prevail.

The United Arab Emirates has likewise condemned what it said was Israel targeting tents of displaced people in Rafah, the foreign ministry said in a statement. Like other nations and leaders, UAE stressed the importance of implementing the ICJ's ruling that demanded Israel immediately halt its offensive in Rafah.

In response, Israel's top military prosecutor called the airstrike "very grave" and said an investigation was underway. Israel's army had said overnight that its aircraft had "struck a Hamas compound in Rafah," killing Yassin Rabia and Khaled Nagar, both senior officials for the Palestinian militant group in the occupied West Bank.

Meanwhile, officials in Gaza said the death toll had risen to 45 from the overnight Israeli strikes on Rafah, which sparked fires that burned displaced people alive in their tents, many of them women and children. contains more updates on the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Watch the video below where House Speaker Mike Johnson said he was disturbed by Democrats wanting a ceasefire in Gaza.

This video is from the GalacticStorm channel on

More related stories:

Israel captures Rafah crossing, leaving 27 people dead and cutting vital lifeline of Palestinians.

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