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Does the latest war news coming out of Gaza mean WW3 is near?

Did You Hear About the 85-Year-Old Hostage Who Emerged with a Handshake? In an unexpected turn of events, Yochaved Lifshitz, recently released by Hamas, conveyed a mix of emotions that ranged from the horrifying to the heartening. 

While she and 79-year-old Nurit Cooper were released on health grounds by the notorious Palestinian group, the same can’t be said for over 200 others who remain in captivity after Hamas’ shocking raid in southern Israel.

Located perilously close to the Gaza border, Yochaved and her 83-year-old husband Oded’s home at Nir Oz kibbutz was a prime target. What followed was a traumatic experience for Lifshitz, who recalled the violent day she was seized. 

In a surprising revelation, an image captured by Reuters on October 23, 2023, showed Yochaved shaking hands with one of the Hamas militants. Amidst all the chaos and pain, her whispered “shalom”, the Hebrew word for peace, spoke volumes about the human capacity for compassion. Let’s take a deeper dive into the war news of the day and see if this war will be one that may spark WW3.

Human Rights Advocates in a World of Injustice

Yochaved and her husband aren’t just random residents of the region; they’re renowned human rights advocates. Their legacy includes working closely with an organization that aids injured Palestinians, ensuring they get timely medical attention. But their goodwill didn’t shield them from the brutality of their captors. 

Yochaved, frail and seated in a wheelchair at a press conference, detailed the horrifying journey after her abduction. From being stripped of her jewelry to the chilling ride on a motorcycle, her ordeal was nothing short of nightmarish.

Hidden from the world above, Hamas operates a vast network of underground tunnels. This is where Yochaved and her fellow hostages were taken. But within these dark depths, she also witnessed unexpected acts of kindness. 

Regular visits from a doctor and the provision of essential medicines showcased a bizarre duality in their captors. When asked about the now-iconic handshake, Yochaved credited it to the care she received during her two-week captivity.

However, the emotional scars run deep. Despite their humane treatment, Yochaved openly expressed her anguish, with memories of the ordeal haunting her every waking moment.

Defensive Lapses and A Quest for Peace

Pointing fingers at the Israeli military, Yochaved didn’t mince words. She held them responsible for the initial attack and criticized their response to the repeated threats posed by Hamas over the years. It’s a sentiment echoed by many in the region, with the head of Israel’s military intelligence agency admitting to intelligence oversights.

While the recent release of hostages like Yochaved, Nurit, and two American women has brought a glimmer of hope, many families are still living in agony. Among them is Sharone Lifshitz, Yochaved’s daughter, who awaits news about her father, Oded. With a storied history of helping wounded Palestinians, she remains optimistic about his safe return.

The release, mediated by Qatar and Egypt, also saw the involvement of the International Committee of the Red Cross, reflecting a collaborative effort to restore peace and return the hostages to their loved ones.

A Tug of War between Politics and Humanity

As Israel grapples with the aftermath of the deadly Hamas raid, international powers are stepping in. President Biden, during his recent visit to Tel Aviv, prioritized the release of the hostages. But as the political drama unfolds, there are still pressing questions. 

Will the captives be safely returned? Will the reign of terror ever end? While the answer remains uncertain, one thing is clear – amidst adversity, there’s always a glimmer of humanity. 

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