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Tags: lerner | idf | hamas | hostages

IDF Spokesman to Newsmax: Hostages Still Top Priority

By    |   Tuesday, 05 December 2023 01:34 PM EST

Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces, told Newsmax that securing the release of the remaining hostages held by Hamas is a top priority.

He said that "137 Israelis remain in the clutches of Hamas, including 19 women and children," Tuesday on "National Report." "These are the same women and children that Hamas refused to release in the hostage deal in order to extend the operational pause.

"They remain a top priority for the IDF and for Israel, I would say a national priority. And we're utilizing all of the operational and intelligence tools in our hands in order to try and locate and create perhaps even an operational advantage in order to bring them home safely. 

"The issue of hostages is, of course, a very sensitive issue here in Israel. It's a very cautious issue that I have to be very careful in what I say. But, indeed, a top priority.

"I think what is important also to say beyond the operational issues that we've tried to advance, there's also a diplomatic effort and Israel has demanded that the International Committee of the Red Cross have access to the hostages in order to assess their well-being.

"Hamas thus far has not permitted that. And I, unfortunately, can't say that is what actually happened. Nevertheless, the hostages, all of them — every last one of them — has to come home."

Lerner declined to discuss a Wall Street Journal report that Israel is considering a plan to pump sea water into the Hamas tunnel system.

"Obviously I can't elaborate, and that definitely wasn't an announcement on behalf of the IDF, so I'd prefer not to get into any sort of specifics," he said.

Jeffrey Rodack

Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, spokesman for the Israeli Defense Forces, told Newsmax that securing the release of the remaining hostages held by Hamas is a top priority.
lerner, idf, hamas, hostages
284
2023-34-05
Tuesday, 05 December 2023 01:34 PM
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