Avi Kalo discusses Sinwar, the Israeli hostages, and the ongoing war

Lt. Col. (Res.) Avi Kalo, former head of the Prisoners and Missing Persons Division at the military’s Intelligence Unit, shared his perspective on the operation to recover the bodies of four hostages and the continued efforts of the IDF to free the hostages on Sunday with Udi Segal and Anat Davidov on Radio 103FM.

“Locating the bodies of four hostages demonstrated very high intelligence capabilities and the fact that we have a certain operational foothold on the ground. We cannot pin our hopes on the operational foothold being the one to bring all the hostages back home,” Kalo said at the beginning of his interview.

The former head of the Prisoners and Missing Persons Division at the military’s Intelligence Unit was pessimistic and stated, “It seems that the opportunity being discussed recently is closing, Yahya Sinwar’s comfort zone is expanding in a way that does require any action on his part. All indications suggest a more comfortable strategic situation for Sinwar.

“We should have seized the opportunity, right now we are at a dead end.”

Challenges in hosts’ return

IDF troops operating in Rafah, May 18, 2024. (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

He added: “In the absence of a comprehensive post-operation strategic solution, it will be difficult to negotiate the release of the hostages. The government refuses to discuss the issue, not even with the Americans.

“A post-operation mechanism creates strategic depth, also in the ability to return the hosts. Even the military is limited in its capabilities.”

Kola then said, “The solution to the return of the hostages at this time is probably through a ceasefire. The leadership is required to make tough decisions. There are no simple solutions to this matter. Returning hostages is one of the two main objectives [of the war.] If we achieve both of them – it is a central piece of the victory image alongside weakening Hamas.”

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