Hamas is Torturing Hostage Families Now

Oct 29, 2023 6:02 pm | Virtual Jerusalem

The release by Hamas of four women captives under the guise of humanitarianism is the latest move in a cynical strategy of psychological warfare. This weekend’s announcement by Hamas that it was ready to release all hostages for all Palestinian security prisoners had the same purpose.

The aim is to mask the terror organization’s true barbaric nature behind a veneer of mercy while at the same time torturing the hostages’ families with hope and despair. This manipulative tactic stands as a testament to Hamas’s calculated cruelty and utter disregard for human dignity. It is designed, and succeeding to some extent, to drive a wedge between the Israeli public and its government.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, who finally met with representatives of the hostage families, was forced to answer in his first press conference since the October 7 Massacre, that Israel has discussed the Hamas proposal for the “all for all” exchange. The idea has been endorsed by the representatives of the hostage families—even though such a deal would release the captors of their loved ones and the murderers of more than a thousand Israelis. Israel has greatly suffered from such lopsided releases in the past.

The release two weeks ago of the four hostages, ostensibly on health and humanitarian grounds, is but a smokescreen. It’s a calculated move designed to engender international sympathy and dilute the perception of their ongoing brutality. Among those released, Yocheved Lifshitz, a human rights activist, endured physical violence during her abduction but reported ‘humane treatment’ in captivity. However, her husband, Oded, remains in Hamas’s clutches, raising the question: How much of this ‘positive’ treatment narrative is coerced by exploiting fear for the loved ones’ safety?

Yocheved Lifshitz’s recounting of her experiences, though seemingly paradoxical, echoes the terror and confusion that many hostages face. “They kidnapped me…the jewelry was taken off my body,” she recounts, describing the horrific violence and chaos during her abduction. She described being beaten, strapped to a motorcycle, and forced to walk through a spider web of tunnels. Yet, later in captivity, she experienced what she described as gentle treatment. This disturbing contrast is not a sign of Hamas’s humanity but a component of its psychological torment, a way to sow seeds of doubt and divide public opinion.

This strategy is psychological manipulation. By treating hostages with superficial decency while their counterparts possibly face imminent harm, Hamas forces victims into an unbearable dilemma. Any statements praising their captors are undeniably influenced by the knowledge that loved ones are still under Hamas’s control. This terror, the invisible hand forcing the victim’s words, is a sinister form of torture in itself. The result is that they are forced to serve the enemy’s interests, pressing for a deal that goes against Israel’s existential security interests.

The illusory humanitarian act of releasing a few leveraged hostages cannot be allowed to overshadow the reality of Hamas’ crimes against humanity or to influence the Israeli domestic debate or justified war effort. They are a terrorist organization, as designated by Israel, the U.S., and many other nations, with a long history of violence. Their atrocities have turned them into an army of genocide. Their methods are not random acts of terror but part of a larger, more insidious strategy to erase the Jewish State. They purposefully torment both the hostages and their families by toying with the human emotion of hope and love for family, only to shatter it repeatedly.

As all people of conscience stand with the hostages and their families, we must not be swayed by Hamas’ manipulative portrayal of benevolence. We need to recognize these acts for what they are: a cynical exploitation of human lives and emotions. The international community must see through this facade and apply pressure to ensure the safe return of all hostages. Concurrently, Israel must reassess its security strategies to safeguard its citizens, ensuring such a deplorable act of terror does not recur. The sanctity of human life is not a bargaining chip – it’s time Hamas learned that lesson once and for all.

The IDF is now teaching it.

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