For three days, in Israel, the same question has been asked, each time the names of the hostages released by Hamas are made public: “Are the redheaded children there?” » But each time, until now, the response has been negative. No, the “redhead children” were still not on the lists on Sunday, November 26, when Israeli authorities announced the return of the third group of released people.
Read also: Live, Israel-Hamas war: 14 Israeli hostages and 3 Thais were released on this third day of truce
Fourteen Israelis (including nine children and three dual nationals), as well as three Thais were exchanged for 39 Palestinian prisoners, as part of the agreement concluded between the Islamist organization and Israel. Hamas, which is conducting parallel negotiations, let go a 26-year-old Russian-Israeli to thank Vladimir Putin for his support for the Palestinian cause.
These little ones with flamboyant hair are called Ariel, 9 months, and Kfir, 4 years old. They were kidnapped on October 7 with their mother, Shiri Bibas, from Kibbutz Nir Oz. Their father, Yarden, is also detained in Gaza and two of their grandparents have been murdered. Since then, the photo of Shiri holding her sons against her, wrapped in a light blanket, the hand of a Hamas man placed on her shoulder, has transformed into an icon: the perfect symbol of threatened innocence, but also of maternal love and fear. .
Also read the editorial: Free all the hostages in Gaza
So much so that today, some in Israel are asking the question: has this symbol turned against the “redhead children” and their mother? Hasn’t he made them valuable pieces in Hamas’s game? Because the negotiations around the release of the hostages, since Friday November 24, clearly show that it is also a psychological war on the part of Yahya Sinwar, leader of Hamas in Gaza. A terrible deal in which, the Israelis are convinced, the Islamist organization exploits their anxiety to the maximum, by carefully choosing the people from whom it will separate.
Some cards are perhaps worth more than others, in this face-to-face which makes Hamas the master of the situation and Israel, a humiliated nation. Is an elderly woman (there were six in the first group on November 24) as valuable as a child? Does a dual nationality carry more weight than an individual with only an Israeli passport, in a country where a significant proportion of the population has two nationalities?
No one can answer these questions, but one thing is certain: the various governments concerned are sparing no effort to obtain redress for their citizens. Families of dual nationals have often said it after October 7: they place great hopes in the leaders of third countries whose passports they hold. So far, Germany has won, so to speak, with eight people released. To date, none of the eight French people presumed captive in Gaza have yet left the enclave.
You have 60% of this article left to read. The rest is reserved for subscribers.