Shalom Ben-Hanan, who in the past served in several key positions in the Shin Bet, rejected reports in the Palestinian media that state that some of the terror organizations in the Gaza Strip are refusing to cooperate with Hamas and return the hostages that they took.
"I think that Hamas controls the overwhelming majority of the hostages, even if the Islamic Jihad or private individuals are physically holding the hostages," Ben-Hanan told Radio 103 FM.
He added: "Hamas is the boss in the Gaza Strip, and even if there are disagreements, it controls things at the end of the day. I estimate that Hamas can control the matter. The cards are in Hamas' hands at the moment, despite the not-bad achievements on our part and the military's progress."
In Ben-Hanan's opinion, the fighting must continue after the ceasefire ends. "The war is long and very complex; the scenes prove that we haven't reached the point where Hamas truly feels distressed. We need to finish the job. They spoke in terms of a year and even more, which means that we are not there yet as far as the declarations at the start of the war. But we are on our way, and we can do it."
Ben-Hanan was asked if the hostage deal harms the war effort, to which he answered: "The deals put us in worse conditions, as far as the continuation of the war as well. At the same time, I support any possibility of taking out the maximum amount of hostages and hopefully all of them. I think we say this not as lip service: we need to free the hostages, even if we pay a price."