February 26, 2024

Reports of a potential hostage deal between Israeli and Hamas is evidence that the terror group is reeling from the IDF’s barrage of Gaza, a top adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told FOX News Tuesday.

Hamas and Israel are reportedly close to to a deal that would exchange as many as 70 women and children held hostage by Hamas in return for the release of female Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.

Mark Regev, who recently served as Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom and is now a senior adviser to Netanyahu, said one aspect of the deal should underline how evil Hamas truly is.

He cited a figure of 240 people estimated to be held by Hamas, including 32 children and infants.

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“I always ask us to remember what sort of people kidnap babies and infants, what sort of people can kidnap a 9-month-old baby. They really are sick. They really are depraved. What more could one say about Hamas?” Regev said.

“But if they are moving towards releasing hostages, it’s not because they have suddenly become humanitarians. It’s because they’ve been on the receiving end of the IDF’s (Israeli Defense Force) military might. And they are feeling the pain, feeling the pressure.”

Regev said he is hopeful for a deal soon, while reiterating the IDF’s pressure campaign must continue in order to expedite the possibility of future prisoner releases by a potentially teetering Hamas.

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But, Regev delineated between a pause in fighting as part of a prisoner swap and protesters across the West who are calling for a conditionless cease-fire on the part of the Israelis, saying those critics essentially want Hamas to remain in power.

The terror group won election to high office in the Palestinian territories about 20 years ago and has not held elections since.

“If Hamas stays in power, Israelis will continue to live next to this terror enclave on our southern frontier. And that’s unacceptable,” he said. “The Hamas leadership has said publicly since the terrible massacre of October 7th that given the opportunity, they would do it again and again and again.”

Regev insisted Israelis should not have to live in daily fear anymore.

“The only way to achieve that is is to eliminate [Hamas’] control of Gaza. That will be good for the people of southern Israel who will no longer have to live with this threat,” he said. “But it’s also good for the people of Gaza who deserve better than this bunch of cutthroats that have been running their society.”

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The Australian-born diplomat was also asked on “The Story” about President Biden failing to make an appearance in front of the throngs of pro-Israeli demonstrators holding a march in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

Regev considered that his own leader, Netanyahu, sometimes has scheduling conflicts in regard to important events, so he did not want to judge the American Democrat.

He said that nonetheless Israeli civilians appreciate the support being shown in America and elsewhere, adding that antisemitism is considered an ancient bigotry that has not subsided over the generations.

“[T]hey say it’s the world’s oldest hatred, but it has staying power and it’s important we fight it,” he said.

“And I applaud all of those people who’ve taken the time to go and stand there on the Mall in Washington. And I think it’s fantastic.”

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