EDITORIAL — Israel should still watch the collaterals

The Freeman
EDITORIAL � Israel should still watch the collaterals

The latest development out of the war in Gaza is the daring daylight rescue by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) of four hostages taken by Hamas during their terror attack on Israel October 7 last year.

But it didn’t come without a price; 274 Palestinians were killed while 698 were injured. Of course, there is no way we can be certain with the numbers because these came from Gaza authorities. We are also not sure how many of these were Hamas militants and how many were innocent civilians because the same source doesn’t make that crucial distinction in their reports.

Whatever the number of the dead and injured are, the IDF should still be careful about collateral damage in their war against Hamas. Enough innocent civilians have been killed already.

While this is a good development for Israelis, the rescue also has bad consequences; Hamas will be more guarded with the rest of their hostages as they are useful bargaining chips after all. After this raid getting to them might be more difficult next time.

This also derails any ceasefire agreement both sides may have been working up to. Then there is also the chance that Hamas will take out their frustration with the situation on their remaining hostages.

This raid also goes to show that Hamas is still situating their bases near or even in civilian locations. This belies their claims they don’t put civilians in harm’s way. But then again they may not have much choice anymore considering how expensive safe real estate has become in their ever-shrinking enclaves.

This is all the more reason for the IDF to limit collateral damage; in launching more punitive attacks or attempted hostage rescues they might just harm the very people they seek to save if they aren’t careful.

The IDF doesn’t have to be reminded that they have already killed three hostages whom they shot in cold blood last December. We also don’t know how many hostages are lying dead under the rubble of Gaza’s buildings brought down by their own bombs.

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