Ehud Barak
Ehud BarakFlash 90

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak told the magazine Foreign Affairs that Israel believes that only half of the hostages still held by Hamas are alive.

He emphasized that he does not doubt that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants the hostages to return home, but also stated that “Given his record, his tough talk rings hollow.”

“Six times in the past 12 years he has rejected plans proposed by the heads of the ISA to eliminate the Hamas leadership. And while he postures, the peril that the remaining hostages face grows, and the odds of completing a deal shrink,” Barak added.

Regarding the question of the price for hostages, Barak stated: “Israel is a sovereign country with the right to reject an offer that would do more harm than good — especially an offer from a bloodthirsty terrorist organization such as Hamas. At the same time, however, it makes no sense to constantly proclaim an intention to kill those leaders, as Israeli officials are doing on a daily basis, while also trying to make a deal, knowing that some of the hostages are being used as human shields.”