The Israeli army reported on Thursday that some 150 gunmen from Hamas and allied terror groups had surrendered to IDF forces during raids in southern Gaza a day earlier.
Some 80 of those were disarmed and immediately freed, while the other 70 were deemed “persons of interest” and were transferred to Israel for interrogation.
In the picture to the left, the prisoners, having been stripped to ensure they were not concealing weapons or explosives, are lined up in preparation for the short march back to Israeli territory.
That photo was uploaded to Facebook by Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, who posted the following message:
“This is how it must end, like in this photo: With the leaders of Hamas eliminated, or dragged from their holes with their hands raised. Just as the Americans did with Bin Laden and the Taliban, or [Egyptian President] el-Sisi with Morsi and the Islamic Movement. There is no other way to defeat the monster of Islamic terror besides destroying the head.”
Communications Minister Gilad Erdan said that Israel at present is not looking for a ceasefire with Hamas, it is looking to defeat and disarm the terror group. “Otherwise, what was the point?” Erdan asked at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.
Erdan lauded a statement issued by European foreign ministers on Tuesday calling for the disarmament of Hamas and Islamic Jihad as one of the outcomes of the current war.
Three leading US senators on Wednesday joined the Europeans in insisting that in the absence of Hamas surrendering its arm, any ceasefire agreement reached now would only be a bandaid covering an open wound.
The senators’ letter to President Barack Obama read:
“The threats posed by Hamas rockets and tunnels whose only purpose is to kill and kidnap Israelis are intolerable, and Israel must be allowed to take any actions necessary to remove those threats. Any effort to broker a cease-fire agreement that does not eliminate those threats cannot be sustained in the long run and will leave Israel vulnerable to future attacks.”