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'Israel should annex land until hostages are returned,' says Jewish Power MK Almog Cohen

Knesset member says only annexing land will return the hostages

Jewish Power MK Almog Cohen, interviewed by i24 channel, on July 7, 2024 (Photo: Screenshot).

Jewish Power Knesset Member Almog Cohen was interviewed by i24 News’ brand new Hebrew language channel on Sunday evening, where he expressed his opinion about how Israel could secure the release of the hostages. 

“I will unveil my grandiose plan to you: Land or hostages, it's very simple," Cohen told host Oren Weingeld. 

“Either you bring us the hostages or, each time, we annex half a kilometer,” Cohen continued. “I promise you, it won’t exceed a kilometer and a half.” 

“For every hostage half a kilometer [of territory]?” Weingeld repeated.

Almog responded, “It’s a crazy plan that I've been working on for many years.” 

Cohen repeated claims from several right-wing politicians that Israel has not been firm enough in dealing with the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza.

“You have to understand this – this is how we must talk to them, and not any other way,” he stated. 

Cohen also said Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, and the Hamas leadership do not value human life, but value land. 

He also said that any land that is annexed should be fully developed, “with kindergartens, schools, a living monument, that in 20 years, the grandchildren of Yahya Sinwar will pass by and say: ‘Ah, that’s because of what my grandfather did to the citizens of Israel.’” 

The Jewish Power party lawmaker said Sinwar would plan Oct. 7-style attacks repeatedly if given the opportunity. 

Weinstein asked, “The poison that exists in Gaza today, is it not something that will be remembered for generations, the pictures, the Nakba, they are leaving, and everyone is evacuating?” 

Cohen responded: “I don’t think so, because ultimately, we are talking about a religious organization, a radical, Islamic, Jihadi organization that doesn’t value human life, it values land. This is the most holy thing for them, and for that reason, I think that we have to raise the price in this regard. This is what will bring back the hostages.” 

Cohen’s views on the issue of settlements in Gaza are widely held by other right-wing politicians. 

In January, several right-wing government ministers and Knesset members attended a conference on the issue of Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip when the war ends. 

During the conference, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich of the Religious Zionism party said that only resettling the Gaza Strip could bring security.

“The people of Israel are at a significant and important crossroads,” he said.

“We have to decide – do we once again run from terrorism and allow a murderous hotbed to grow again beyond the fence, or do we settle the land, control it, fight terrorism, and bring security to the entire State of Israel.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly affirmed that Israel would not resettle Gaza after the war. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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