Opinion: Gaza Hostages Urgently Require America's Intervention

Opinion: Gaza Hostages Urgently Require America's Intervention

Yehuda Beinin, a deeply concerned father and father-in-law, emphasizes the critical need for America's immediate intervention in securing the release of the remaining hostages in Gaza

Yehuda Beinin, the father of released American-Israeli hostage Liat Beinin Atzili and father-in-law of the killed hostage Aviv Atzili, was raised in Philadelphia and currently resides in Israel. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. For more information, you can read the full article on CNN Opinion.

It has been over 75 days since the brutal attack by Hamas on Israel, and it is believed that over 100 live hostages are still being held, with 22 people already dying in captivity, according to Israeli officials and new reports of the killing of an Israel-American dual national hostage.

Opinion: Gaza Hostages Urgently Require America's Intervention

Yehuda Beinin

CNN has reported that Israel is proposing a new deal that includes the release of hostages, highlighting the urgency of the situation. This issue is deeply personal to me as the father of a released hostage and the father-in-law of a man killed by Hamas terrorists. Additionally, as an American, the situation hits close to home. Some of our fellow dual national Americans are still among the remaining hostages, facing very real danger and even death each day they remain in captivity.

I come from Philadelphia, where I have always been a devoted Phillies fan. As a child, I enjoyed soaking up the city's rich history and cherished memories. The iconic Liberty Bell represents the core American values of freedom and justice, which I believe our government should embody. It is disheartening to witness the suffering of our citizens and other hostages as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pursues a war that jeopardizes their safety.

My daughter Liat was abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz on Oct. 7. Although we were fortunate and grateful to be reunited on Nov. 29, we were devastated to learn that my son-in-law Aviv was among those killed in a Hamas attack while protecting his community, Kibbutz Nir Oz.

I have formed bonds with families who have suffered the loss of their loved ones on Oct. 7, as well as with those whose family members are being held hostage, with gunshot wounds, broken bones, and missing limbs. Each day is a terrifying ordeal as we confront the harsh realities that our loved ones are enduring while held captive. The terrorists are subjecting the hostages to sexual assault, providing them with meager portions of bread and rice, and subjecting them to what one hostage's nephew described as "horrific" conditions. Every passing day without the safe return of the hostages brings them closer to the brink of death.

Opinion: Gaza Hostages Urgently Require America's Intervention

Palestinians are seen walking through the debris of demolished structures in Gaza City, located in the northern Gaza strip, after enduring extensive Israeli airstrikes. This scene took place as a four-day ceasefire began on November 24. (Image by Omar El-Qattaa/AFP/Getty Images)

Personal View: Hamas does not represent my community

Regrettably, the priority of securing the hostages' release is not shared by the Israeli government. Since Oct. 7, Netanyahu has explicitly stated that his primary objectives are to dismantle Hamas' military and governing capabilities, with the release of the hostages as a secondary concern. I am not a politician, so I cannot determine which of these objectives is more crucial for Israel's future. However, as the father of a woman who was held captive in Gaza for 54 days and the father-in-law of a man killed by Hamas, I am acutely aware of which goal is more pressing for families like mine.

An Israeli man was mistakenly identified as a terrorist in Jerusalem and fatally shot by an Israeli reservist soldier earlier this month. In response to the incident, Netanyahu callously remarked "that's life." Additionally, three Israeli hostages were tragically killed by Israeli Defense Force (IDF) soldiers who blatantly disregarded the IDF's rules of engagement. These disturbing events are a result of the siege mentality perpetuated by Netanyahu, his government, and their policies.

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The sole priority is to secure the release of all remaining hostages without delay. Waiting for the total dismantling of Hamas is not an option for regaining freedom. It is imperative for America to take the lead in bringing Netanyahu back to the negotiating table to prevent the potential deaths of over 100 people and the bolstering of Hamas terrorists.

In 2006, Hamas captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, who was not released until five years later in exchange for nearly the same number of prisoners Hamas had demanded years earlier, as reported by Reuters. The Islamic Jihad has proposed an "all for all" exchange. History is likely to repeat itself, and the current hostages cannot afford to wait five years for their release.

I urge the US government and governments worldwide to use all available resources to secure the swift and complete release of the hostages. I appreciate President Biden's compassion and unwavering dedication to achieving this, and I implore him to continue pushing until every hostage is safely home. Each minute of delay in reaching a deal could prove fatal hundreds of times over.