Latest News by Industry
Gaza is tiny and watched closely by Israel. But rescuing hostages there would be a daunting task
The Hamas-run Gaza Strip is a tiny enclave, measuring 25 miles long and no more than 7 miles wide
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Hamas-run Gaza Strip is a tiny enclave, measuring 25 miles long and no more than 7 miles wide, surveilled continually by Israel, surrounded by its guns. But rescuing — or even locating — more than 150 hostages hustled there by Palestinian militants who overran Israel’s southern border on Saturday will be a daunting task.
Gaza’s densely populated terrain, its network of underground tunnels and the sheer numbers of men, women and children taken captive present Israel with the most complex hostage crisis that the country has ever faced.
Mounting rescue operations in the midst of the massive Israeli bombardment of Gaza that followed the deadly Hamas rampage in southern Israel would only make an already difficult mission even more formidable.
“The situation is unprecedented,” said Gershon Baskin, who helped to negotiate the 2011 release of Staff Sergeant Gilad Schalit after more than five years of Hamas captivity. “I think Hamas was surprised at the ease it was able to take hostages. Israel was completely bewildered by everything that’s happened.”