Hamas hostage-taking presents Israel with familiar but tough dilemma

October 13, 2023

Israel has throughout its history been targeted by hostage-taking in standoffs resolved by both force and diplomacy, but the mass seizure of citizens by Palestinian militant group Hamas presents the authorities with an unprecedented quandary. Estimates point to around 150 women, children and men being held by Hamas in its Gaza stronghold after its attack on Israel on Saturday. French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that Paris would do "everything" to secure the release of the hostages, whatever their nationality. In 1976, Israeli forces freed hostages held by Palestinian militants on a plane that had been diverted to Entebbe airport in Uganda. He was released five years later for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners by Israel.