Civil defense teams try to rescue victims trapped under rubble of a building destroyed by an Israeli attack in Deir Al Balah in the central Gaza Strip, November 9, 2023 (Ashraf Amra/Anadolu/Getty)
In conversation with ABC News’s Yvonne Yong on Thursday, I cut through reports, propaganda, and Internet restrictions over the Israel-Hamas mass killings to set out the harsh reality: in Israel’s intensive bombing and ground offensive in Gaza, 2.3 million civilians and more than 240 Hamas-held hostages are expendable.
I evaluate the latest reports on the offensive, including whether the label of “war crimes” will have any effect on it. I look at the ongoing failure to establish a “humanitarian pause” for all of Gaza.
And I am very cautious about chatter of a deal for a pause of 24 to 72 hours in return for the freeing of about a dozen hostages: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is already signalling his rejection.
You cannot release hostages while a war is going on. Until you have a humanitarian pause, those hostages and the civilians in northern Gaza — and, to some extent, throughout the Strip — continue to be expendable.