The Hill: At least 210 Palestinians reportedly killed during Israeli hostage recovery operation

Most people would be glad to kill 210 members of the enemy to rescue four members of their own team.

The Hill reports:

Israel’s latest hostage rescue operation, which brought four Israeli hostages to safety, also killed at least 210 Palestinians, including children, according to a Gaza health official.

Noa Argamani, 25, Almong Meir Jan, 21, Andrey Kozlov, 27 and Shlomi Ziv, 40 were rescued by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Israel Police and Israel Securities Authority, the IDF said in a joint statement.

The special operation, a heavy air and ground attack, took place in two different locations in Nuseirat in central Gaza. All four hostages were kidnapped from the Nova music festival, according to the IDF.

The bodies of 109 Palestinians including 23 children and 11 women were taken to Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, and spokesperson Khalil Degran told the Associated Press that more than 100 wounded also arrived to the hospital. In addition, he said the rest of the 210 Palestinians killed were taken to Al-Awda Hospital after the spokesman said he spoke to the director there. But the numbers at that hospital could not be confirmed by the AP.

The New York Times reports June 9, 2024:

But by Sunday, euphoria was already giving way to a harsh reality. The heavy air and ground assault that accompanied the rescue killed scores of Palestinians, according to Gaza health officials. And the operation failed to resolve any of the deep dilemmas and challenges vexing the Israeli government.

Eight months into its grinding war in Gaza, Israel still appears to be far from achieving its stated objectives of dismantling Hamas’s military and governing capabilities. And Israelis fear that time is running out for many of the hostages in Gaza. About a third of the 120 that remain have already been declared dead by the Israeli authorities.

At the same time, Israel’s leadership is grappling with an escalation of hostilities across the northern border with Lebanon and battling increasing international isolation and opprobrium over the war in Gaza, including allegations of genocide that are being heard by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

The rescue mission “doesn’t solve a single one of the problems that Israel has been facing ever since October 7,” wrote Nahum Barnea, a leading Israeli political columnist, in Sunday’s popular Yediot Ahronot newspaper.

“It doesn’t solve the problem in the north; it doesn’t solve the problem in Gaza; and it doesn’t solve the slew of other problems that threaten Israel in the international arena,” he added.

Why would deaths of the enemy diminish Israeli joy? Gazans have consistently made clear through their choices that they wish the total destruction of the Jewish state. Why would Israelis not feel similarly about the Gazans?

No sane Israel-supporter expected this rescue mission to solve other problems. What a bizarre framing for this Times story.

Nahum Barnea, the great sage, wrote May 26, 2024:

The military incursion into Rafah must be stopped. Not because the International Court of Justice ordered it, but because the cost outweighs the benefit. We can debate for days the judges’ motives, their integrity and their judicial rigor, but it won’t save Israel.

Barnea wanted to stop the incursion that rescued four Israeli hostages and now he wants to diminish the significance of the rescue because it makes him look bad.

I put the phrase “won’t save Israel” into Google News and got dozens of results.

Who seriously argues that any one act by Israel will save Israel? Nobody.

The Times headline: “Israel’s Euphoria Over Hostage Rescue May Be Fleeting”

All euphoria is fleeting. Name me one euphoria that goes on for years.

John J. Mearsheimer and Sebastian Rosato write in their 2023 book, How States Think: The Rationality of Foreign Policy:

…when states believe their survival is at stake, they do not hesitate to kill large numbers of civilians if such murderous behavior will help them avoid defeat or massive casualties on the battlefield. Britain and the United States blockaded Germany during World War I in an attempt to starve its civilian population and force the Kaiserreich to surrender. The United States also relentlessly firebombed Japanese cities beginning in March 1945 before dropping atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, to bring World War II to an end and minimize American casualties.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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