ISRAEL + HAMAS

Inside the terrorist organization Hamas with retired FBI agent

Oct 11, 2023, 6:00 PM | Updated: Nov 30, 2023, 5:46 pm

people look through damaged buildings in israel...

Israelis inspect a damaged residential building after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in Ashkelon, Israel, Monday, Oct. 9, 2023. The militant Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip carried out an unprecedented, multi-front attack on Israel at daybreak Saturday, firing thousands of rockets as dozens of Hamas fighters infiltrated the heavily fortified border in several locations by air, land, and sea, killing hundreds and taking captives. Palestinian health officials reported scores of deaths from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. (AP Photo/Erik Marmor)

(AP Photo/Erik Marmor)

SALT LAKE CITY — How do you negotiate with someone who is dedicated to your destruction? A retired FBI agent discusses the militant organization Hamas and the hostages the militants have captured, which Israel desperately wants safely returned.

On Saturday, Gaza unleashed wave after wave of armed militants in a large-scale attack by air, sea, and land on Israel. In the rural communities that were savaged across the border from Gaza, Israel said it found 1,500 bodies of militants.

More than 1,200 died in Israel, according to Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, as reported by CNN in an update on Wednesday.

Talk to the expert

Retired FBI supervisor and special agent Karl Schmae, who trained forces in Israel and has first-hand expertise about Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, joined Dave and Debbie to discuss the current hostage situation on the ground in Gaza.

Nothing happens in Gaza, Schmae said, without the authority of Hamas — and the militant leaders rule with an iron fist.

“I had the opportunity to go to Israel actually to train with the Shin Bet, which is basically the equivalent of the FBI,” Schmae said. “They’re very good. I mean, they were fascinating to see how they were able to recruit sources within Hamas to give them intelligence.”

An estimated 150 Israelis, many of them civilians, were taken hostage by Palestinian militants during the broadest invasion of Israeli territory in 50 years. About 900 other Israelis were killed, according to The New York Times and a government statement (linked below).

‘I Just Hope That They Are Alive’: How Hamas Abducted 150 Israelis

‘Gaza is enemy territory’

“Hamas is certainly going to be dispersing those hostages throughout Gaza in order to protect them and to make it harder for them to be rescued,” Schmae said. “And I have no doubt they would also use them as human shields.”

Rescuing hostages is the most difficult special forces mission, he said, adding residents are tightly packed into the urban maze of Gaza.

“It’s a really hard area to fight in. . . territory that’s controlled by the enemy, like Gaza, that’s hard to do without getting the hostages killed, so it’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few days,” Schmae said.

Back in 2006,  Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier Gilad Shalit was captured by Palestinian militants in a cross-border raid via tunnels near the Israeli border. In 2011, Shalit was exchanged for 1,027 prisoners — almost all Palestinians and Arab-Israelis as part of an agreement between Israel and Hamas.

“I think Israel would be willing to make some deals, but obviously the scale of this, having 150 hostages, that’s huge. I mean, who knows what Hamas would be demanding in return?” Schmae said.

Hamas has a charter that says it is dedicated to the eradication of Israel, he said.

Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it” (The Martyr, Imam Hassan al-Banna, of blessed memory), according to the Avalon Project.

“It makes it really hard to try to negotiate with somebody who’s committed to your destruction,” Schmae said. “So this is just an incredibly difficult situation that Israel is in right now.”

Related:

Utah rabbi details escape out of Israel

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Inside the terrorist organization Hamas with retired FBI agent