The Truth about the Israel-Hamas Hostage Deal

Written by Jack Elbaum

What’s happening: As a part of the temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, just over 50 Israeli hostages and 150 Palestinian prisoners will be released. However, there is a misconception that the two groups are morally equivalent.

The truth: The Israeli hostages being released are innocent civilians who never committed any crimes. Many are under the age of 10 and the youngest is only 10 months old. The vast majority of Palestinian prisoners being released have committed crimes, with 17 even being convicted of attempted murder.

The details: Israel is releasing prisoners such as Shoroqu Dwaiat, who committed a stabbing attack in Jerusalem with a kitchen knife, and Mohammed Abu Katish, who left a man paralyzed in 2022 after stabbing him. Asraa Jabes, who tried to detonate a car bomb, and Misoun Mussa, who stabbed an Israeli police officer in the neck, are also being released.

  • The Israelis: On the flip side, four-year-old Abigail Eden — who watched both her parents get murdered and then was kidnapped by Hamas — is getting freed. As is 3-year-old Yahel Shalom. These hostages, along with 240 others, were simply taken from their homes on October 7 for no other reason than living in Israel.

Misrepresentation: CNN ran a sympathetic news piece about the release of the Palestinian prisoners and showed a video of the joy of Malak Salman’s family after she was released. But Salman was arrested for attempting to stab and kill an Israeli police officer. Numerous outlets even called this a “prisoner swap,” with the goal of establishing a false moral equivalence.

  • More: The New York Timesfeatured a picture of a released Palestinian woman draped in a Hamas flag in a story about the freeing of Hostages. Reuters featured a screen split of 9-year-old Emily Hand reuniting with her family on one side and attempted car bomber Asraa Jabes on the other.