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HomeisraelRetired Green Beret warns of pitfalls in 'difficult' Gaza hostage rescue

Retired Green Beret warns of pitfalls in ‘difficult’ Gaza hostage rescue

Special forces planning for hostage rescues following the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7 face a number of complications in the Gaza Strip – an extremely dense urban environment that is the home turf for the terrorist group.

“There are no known hostage rescues attempts to have occurred inside of Gaza. Unfortunately, the Israelis have a number of challenges to address if any operations are to be a success repatriating 200 [or more] civilians,” John Paluska, a retired Army Green Beret and Purple Heart recipient, told Fox News Digital. 

At least 4,800 people have been killed since Hamas launched thousands of missiles into Israel nearly two weeks ago, including at least 1,400 Israeli civilians and soldiers and 31 Americans. Palestinian health authorities say at least 3,478 Palestinians have been killed and more than 10,950 wounded.

It’s believed that 13 Americans may be among the roughly 203 people kidnapped by Hamas during their attack, including foreign nationals from a range of countries.

“I think this will run at least the course through the next six months,” Paluska said, noting that once Israel goes into Gaza, they will not leave quickly. “I think this war will become an urban operation where you don’t know how the enemy is moving against you, and you don’t have the ability to clear – in such terrain, you have to remove civilians.”

“That’s the hard part,” he continued. “In Iraq, in Baghdad, you could flee, but you can’t really flee in this small of an area, so it’s going to take persistence, and in my mind is just images of all the urban terrain that I’ve been fighting in and thinking. … It’s going to be a long war.”

Peter Aitken is a Fox News Digital reporter with a focus on national and global news. 

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