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EDITORIAL: Hamas hides hostages among Palestinian children

The details of Israel’s daring hostage rescue in Gaza this month are even more chilling than originally reported. And they further highlight the extent to which Hamas leaders exhibit an utter disregard for human life.

The Wall Street Journal this week offered a more comprehensive look at where terrorists had stashed the four Israeli captives who were saved June 8 during a military operation in the town of Nuseirat. Initial reports mention that the hostages were kept in residential apartments also occupied by Palestinian families. The Journal confirmed those reports and filled in some blanks.

Three male hostages, the paper reported after talking to residents, were in the apartment home of a “prominent family” that included general practitioner Ahmad Al-Jamal and his 37-year-old son Abdullah, a Palestinian journalist, who had “reported on civilian deaths in the invasion of Gaza, accusing Israel of massacres and genocide” — all as he was complicit in the kidnapping of innocents during the brutal Hamas invasion of Oct. 7.

The lone female captive was a few blocks away in an apartment building that housed a Nuseirat family named Abu Nar.

“From their locked and guarded room, the hostages said, they could hear Abdullah and his wife, Fatma, a phlebotomist, and their children going about their lives,” the Journal reported.

During the Israeli raid, the Al Jamal’s building was destroyed, the paper said. A next-door neighbor told the Journal that the children survived, but Al-Jamal, Abdullah and his wife were killed. Members of the Abu Nar family were also killed and their building wiped out, the paper found.

Other civilians died when Hamas fighters engaged in a firefight to try to scuttle the rescue mission, “leaving behind death and destruction.” Even some Palestinians in Gaza knew exactly whom to blame — and it wasn’t Israel.

“Hamas should give us a map of the safe zones we can stay in because, if we knew there were hostages in the neighborhood, we would have looked for another place,” a 36-year-old man told the Journal.

Hiding hostages with civilian families is bad enough. Hiding them in homes with children is an abomination.

But it’s all part of the strategy embraced by the bloodthirsty Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in his effort to eliminate the Jewish state. Journal reporters who reviewed messages Sinwar has sent to mediators reveal his “calculation that more fighting — and more Palestinian civilian deaths — work to his advantage.” Palestinian deaths, Sinwar believes, “are necessary sacrifices.”

Critics of Israel’s response to Oct. 7 — including President Joe Biden — target Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with their wrath. They’ve turned a blind eye to the true culprit.

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