Moti Kahana for Jewish News Oct 2023
An ambitious plan to secure the release of all the remaining hostages in the Gaza Strip — together with the bodies of fallen Israel soldiers held by Hamas since 2014 — is being put together by American-Israeli entrepreneur Moti Kahana, Jewish News can reveal.
The two-stage plan, put together with the acknowledgment of the White House, a seasoned American negotiator, France, and a Syrian adviser to Kahana’s company, Global Delivery Corporation, or GDC, will firstly enable him to provide humanitarian supplies to the civilians of Gaza, to be sent in via Egypt.
In the first stage of the project — whose details will be hammered out with Hamas leaders in Qatar —medical supplies, baby and hygiene provisions, will be sent in to Gaza, solely for the use of Palestinian civilians. These supplies — $20 million of which Kahana has waiting in an American warehouse, ready to be flown to Egypt— will be provided in exchange for the release of all foreign and dual nationality hostages held by Hamas.
The second stage, Kahana says, will mirror what Israel did in 1982 when the PLO leadership, including Yasir Arafat, were allowed by Israel to leave Lebanon. Most of them then settled in Tunisia.
Kahana’s 2023 plan, in co-ordination with Israel and the US, will allow “Hamas leaders in Gaza, not those involved in the slaughter of Israelis”, to leave the Strip in exchange for the release of all the remaining hostages. Included in this arrangement will be the presumed bodies of two Israeli soldiers held by Hamas since 2014, and two other Israelis who wandered into Gaza and were taken prisoner.
He told Jewish News: “Anyone who was involved on October 7, who crossed the border into Israel and took part in the massacre, and has blood on his hands, will not be able to leave Gaza”.
The plan envisages the Hamas leaders either leaving Gaza via Egypt, to resettle elsewhere, or to leave by boat from the Gaza shoreline. Kahana says Israel and the US both have lists of those who would be eligible to leave the Strip, and strict control will be exercised to ensure that the terrorists who took part in the October 7 massacres in Israel, or were involved in holding of the hostages, will not be among those allowed to leave.
Kahana, who has been involved in humanitarian rescue projects in many parts of the world, began working in Syria in 2011 and, with the help of Syrian opposition forces including Hamas affiliates, was able to rescue artefacts from the 2,000-year-old Jobar Synagogue in Damascus. He says that at that time, in exchange for that help, he provided the Hamas men with food and supplies for their families. “It was during Eid and they were living in tunnels in Damascus. I gave them baby formula, women’s hygiene items, and meat”. That more than a decade old mutual help means the Hamas men know Kahana and his work.
Between 2016 and 2018, he worked between Syria and Israel during Operation Good Neighbour, bringing many women and children from Syria to be treated in Israeli hospitals in the north of the country. They were then repatriated after medical treatment.
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Kahana, in partnership with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), and currently with the American Jewish Committee, (AJC) was also involved in relief work on the Romanian/Ukraine border, sending urgent supplies over to Ukraine from a camp established on the Romanian side.