Since October 7, the war between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas has steadily caused ruin and demise — even beyond the Middle East. In a recent development, Israel and the terror organization agreed to a temporary, four-day ceasefire, an agreement that demanded Israel release three Palestinian prisoners for each hostage released from the hands of Hamas. Major Doron Spielman, the international spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces, explained on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” that this was not an easy exchange.
“We’re also releasing convicted Palestinian felons, including some who who’ve committed some really despicable crimes,” he said. “But this is part of the price we’re paying in order to get our people home.”
For those who have been released, which now totals 104 individuals, it brings “a great sense of joy” to have them home, the Major emphasized. “This should include children, these innocent little children who had [been] taken hostage and a number of their mothers. So, this really is a ray of light.” But despite the joy of some returning, there are still over 150 hostages trapped in Gaza. As Spielman put it, “[T]he dark clouds of Hamas are still over us.”
Out of those still in the terrorists’ grip, Spielman said they are unsure of who is alive and who isn’t. Even so, rescuing them is a “top priority,” right alongside getting rid of Hamas, which he described as “non-negotiable.” These have been stated as their two primary goals since the start.
Spielman encouraged viewers to imagine if this was happening in their own backyard. In graphic detail, he explained some of the trauma Hamas inflicted upon the Israeli people during the initial attack including the “massacred” neighborhoods, the burning of houses and people, and loved ones ripped away by “a murderous regime.” If this were happening to others, Spielman suggested, “Would they hold off? Would they pull back? What are we supposed to do in Israel? [When we] put our children to sleep at night … what are we supposed to say to them when they ask us, ‘Mommy and Daddy, are those murderers still out there?’” He added, “I can tell you, as an Israeli, that we are not going to stop until Hamas is eliminated, because I want to be able to tell my child they are gone.”
With such a goal, Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council and host of “Washington Watch,” shared his concerns about the potential longevity of this war, stating that Israel is seemingly “always on a time clock.” He continued, “[T]here’s only so much goodwill in the international community for Israel, no matter how great the threat is. And so, I think there’s just concern that the longer this [drags on], that Israel may not be able to finish what they need to accomplish.”
Speilman agreed but said, “Look, at the end of the day, we’re the ones who have to live with Gaza on our borders. No one else in the world.” He explained that they want international support, and further expressed his gratitude for the ally Israel has in the U.S. “I think when history looks back and sees how the United States has stood with Israel, it will go down in history as a great friendship,” he added.
But despite the valid concern Perkins raised, Spielman explained, “Every person, every country, [has] their own concerns, their own objectives. … [W]e have to be able to secure the State of Israel in the south, in the north, and make sure that our people are safe. That is our top priority, and it should be higher than anything else.”
He concluded that “all the thoughts and all the prayers and all the support is not only greatly needed, it’s felt. And that feeling gives us strength both on the battlefield and when we’re home with our families and in everything we’re doing to keep the state of Israel alive and well.”
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.
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