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Tags: rob oneill | hostages | hamas | israel | war

Ex-SEAL O'Neill to Newsmax: Finding Israeli Hostages Tough

By    |   Friday, 13 October 2023 06:54 PM EDT

Even though the Gaza Strip is just 25 miles long and about seven miles wide, finding the more than 150 hostages taken by Hamas terrorists will be a difficult task, former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill told Newsmax on Friday.

Israel is set to embark on a ground invasion of Gaza with the dual purpose of eliminating Hamas terrorists and finding the hostages, a number of which are believed to be Americans. The U.S. reportedly will be advising Israel on the rescue efforts.

O’Neill, as a member of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six, was responsible for shooting and killing Osama bin Laden. He also took part in the rescue operations for Marcus Luttrell in Afghanistan and for Capt. Richard Phillips from Somali pirates.

"The most difficult part of a hostage rescue is finding out exactly where the hostages are, and with the hundreds of miles of tunnels, some 100 feet underground, it’s very, very difficult," O’Neill, 47, told "Carl Higbie FRONTLINE.

"I've seen some footage of hostages, and just based on the flashlight in their eyes, the dilation of the pupils, you can tell they're in a dark, dark place. [They] could be anywhere.

"They could be in a blacked-out room in a basement or a tunnel or the fourth floor of a building somewhere. So that's the hardest part right there."

O’Neill said getting to the hostages is one thing; getting them out alive is another.

"It's difficult to get in. It's going to be more difficult to get out," O’Neill said. "The thing you want with a hostage rescue — and I’m one of the few people who has been on a real hostage rescue that worked — is getting out when you're done and not hurting the hostage.

"They could be booby-trapped, which they probably are; have their own suicide vests on them. They have people around them that want to be martyrs because all the leadership you know is probably in Iran right now.

"We're just lucky we have some of the best hostage rescue operators there right now to include the Israelis … although I would like to be there if I was a younger Navy SEAL, I totally respect the dangerous mission, the high-profile mission and how precise this really needs to be."

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Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Even though the Gaza Strip is just 25 miles long and about seven miles wide, finding the more than 150 hostages taken by Hamas terrorists will be a difficult task, former Navy SEAL Rob O'Neill told Newsmax on Friday.
rob oneill, hostages, hamas, israel, war
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2023-54-13
Friday, 13 October 2023 06:54 PM
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