The Israeli Hostage Torment: Does it Ever End?
It was supposed to have begun earlier today, the release of small batches of Israeli and other civilian hostages captured on October 7.
Ten civilians at a time. Women, children, the elderly and the sick. Children with their mothers - if they have not been murdered already. At least 50, we were told, were to be freed over four days.
In return, Israel would release from its prisons 150 women and youth convicted of terror-related crimes but not murder. So, things like stabbing a Jewish person but not killing them.
It is believed that the hostages have been held in underground prisons; in the tunnel network that is more than 200-miles long beneath the Gaza Strip. In recent days an Israeli official described the conditions in which they are kept as being “abhorrent.” We can assume that they are living without adequate access to food, medicine and life necessities. Hygiene is certainly primitive. There is no natural light and even the supply of air is stale, stuffy and contaminated. After such prolonged captivity, disease may begin to spread.
Some children were kidnapped alone, in more than one case having seen their parents murdered moments earlier. Among them is a little girl who turns four today. We hope that she is among the ten released in the initial group.