The arrangement reached between Israel and Hamas for the release of hostages taken on Oct. 7 is not a prisoner exchange, but instead, it’s a swap of innocents in exchange for Palestinian terrorists, Fred Fleitz, a senior fellow at the America First Policy Institute, told Newsmax Sunday.
“We can only rejoice with the families of these hostages, now that they’ve been released by these terrorists, Fleitz, who appeared with retired Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, the president of Project Sentinel, said on Newsmax’s “Sunday Report.” “Let’s be clear here. The media is saying this is a prisoner exchange. It is not. This is an exchange of hostages for terrorist Palestinians.”
The released Palestinians, he added, are “criminals who committed terrorist acts. Some of them lunged at Israeli policemen with knives.”
Israel, though, had to do some “gut-wrenching things” to protect innocent life while knowing that Hamas is benefiting from the four-day cease-fire, said Fleitz.
“It’s tough being the good guys,” he said. “Israel’s going to have to saunter forward and we need to stand behind them.’
Shaffer agreed, saying he wanted to remind people that two of the youngest hostages, Abigail Eden, a four-year-old American was in the arms of her parents when she was shot. Another child, Emily Hand of Ireland, was “running to her dad when he was shot.”
“We have to remember that these Hamas folks killed, murdered individuals,” Shaffer said. “The information warfare that’s going on is trying to make everything equal. It’s not equal. They’re terrorists and they need to be destroyed. ‘
Meanwhile, no Americans were released in the first batches of hostages, and that is a sign, said Shaffer.
“The Biden administration has been completely ham-handed and ineffective,” he said. “I think it was meant to send a message saying you’re not our first priority.”
The Americans, though, “are the most valuable hostages,” because the Biden administration, by sending billions of dollars to retrieve them, “has put high prices on the heads of Americans everywhere, not just Israel,” Shaffer added.
“We’ve seen this in other nations, so it’s one of those situations where [they’re] not going to give back the most valuable asset [they] have,” said Shaffer. “It’s a means of disrespect.”
Meanwhile, despite the hostage release, Israel must go on to destroy Hamas and not allow it to continue using Gaza as a base of operations for its terrorist actions, said Fleitz.
“Hamas is going to trickle these hostages out to gain as much time as possible,” he said. “I saw a report over the weekend that these tunnels were almost inoperable because of a lack of fuel. But now with the cease-fire, Hamas is going to get fuel which will allow them to fuel the fans and other operations to provide electricity to these tunnels, which will let them regroup.”
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Sandy Fitzgerald | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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