All-for-All Hostage Deal, Hadash

Hadash says that the approved hostage deal in exchange for a ceasefire and the release of Palestinian prisoners “must be the beginning of the process of ending the war.” In an unprecedented vote early Wednesday morning, Israel’s cabinet approved an agreement to secure the release of roughly 50 hostages who were abducted into Gaza during the October 7 deadly Hamas attack. “Public pressure led [P.M. Benjamin] Netanyahu to agree to a deal that he refused until now,” wrote journalist Yossi Verter in Haaretz.

The anti-war protest held by Hadash in Tel-Aviv, Saturday evening, November 18, 2023 (Photo: Zo Haderech)

Hadash has railed for the deal and against Israel’s ongoing war in Gaza following the October 7 atrocities and its civilian casualty count, and its statement reads that the deal should be part of “stopping the cycle of killing, and starting a political process with Palestinian leadership.”

Hundreds of Jews and Arabs gathered Saturday evening in Tel Aviv’s Charles Clore Park for a demonstration led by Hadash and the Communist Party of Israel. The protest called for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the war in Gaza. To facilitate a ceasefire, protesters said they support an “all-for-all” hostage deal where all Israeli hostages are brought back in exchange for all Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.

Hadash Member of the Knesset Aida Touma-Suleiman spoke at the protest, saying: “We are against the war. From the first day, we said that we oppose the atrocities and crimes committed against civilians, and when civilians in Gaza die from bombings—we will condemn these crimes as well. You will not prevail because there is also a voice in Gaza, and there are also citizens and children in Gaza.”

Dana Mills, former Peace Now director, declared, “Enough of the war, enough of the murder and massacre in Gaza. We will not be silent or calm until all the prisoners return home safely.” Maoz Yinon, both of whose parents were murdered by Hamas on Oct. 7, said: “I now have four goals. 1. To bring back the hostages held by the terrorist Hamas. 2. End the war. 3. Bring down Netanyahu. 4. Revive hope for all of us, Israelis and Palestinians, that we will have a better future of peace and equality.”

Last Thursday, the police agreed to allow the Hadash demonstration after the Association for Civil Rights in Israel petitioned the High Court of Justice demanding it order the police to issue a permit for the rally.  During the court hearing, and for the first time since Oct. 7, police agreed to allow the demonstration to go ahead, but at a different location than originally planned and with a limit on the number of participants to 500. Past week, the High Court rejected similar Hadash petitions against the police decision to ban demonstrations in the Arab cities of Sakhnin and Umm El Fahm.