Israel-Hamas Prisoner Exchange Now, MK Ayman Odeh

MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) called on Israeli government to release all Palestinian prisoners and moving forward immediately on a prisoner exchange. Hamas kidnapped more of 150 Israelis and foreigners in its deadly assault on southern Israel on Saturday morning.

According Odeh “It is absolutely forbidden to accept any attacks on the innocent, and I categorically condemn the calls by Hamas for Arab-Palestinians citizens to join the fighting against Israel.” “I call on Arab and Jewish citizens of the State of Israel to behave responsibly and not be dragged into any attacks,” Odeh said.

“Prisoner exchange now”: A demonstration at Habima Square in Central Tel-Aviv, Tuesday, October 10, 2023 (Photo: Zo Haderech)

In an interview with Hala TV, Odeh said that any attempt to circumvent the Palestinian problem through normalization with Arab nations or other measures will not succeed, since peace cannot be reached without the end of the occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel.

“I say with a humane approach, we must remove all citizens from the circle of conflict and war, Palestinians and Israelis alike,” Odeh said. “This is an ethical and moral position and one must always strive for it, and in addition (it should be said that) the occupation and its continuation is the basic problem that must end in order to establish peace.”

MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash), said Sunday, “We condemn and oppose any assault on innocent civilians. But in contrast to the Israeli government that means that we oppose any assault on Palestinian civilians as well. We must analyze those terrible attacks in the right context—and that is the ongoing occupation.”

The next day, the prominent Israeli outlet Haaretz published its editorial under the headline  “Netanyahu Bears Responsibility for This Israel-Gaza War.” The editorial read: “The prime minister … completely failed to identify the dangers he was consciously leading Israel into when establishing a government of annexation and dispossession, when appointing Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir to key positions, while embracing a foreign policy that openly ignored the existence and rights of Palestinians.”