Israel says it located Hamas military leader Yahya Sinwar

The Israeli Army knows where Yahya Sinwar, the military leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, is hiding, but cannot strike him because he is surrounded by many of the hostages that the Islamist group captured from Israel during its October 7 raid, according to a report by Israel Hayom.

Photo courtesy: Tasnim News Agency.

According to the Hebrew-language newspaper Israel Hayom, which has the largest readership in the country, the Israeli Army knows the whereabouts of Yahya Sinwar, the military leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, but cannot target him because he is surrounded by many of the hostages that the Islamist group took from Israel during its October 7 raid. This information was confirmed by Amos Yadlin, the former chief of Israeli military intelligence.

Yahya Sinwar is believed to be the main planner of the October 7 raid, which resulted in about 1,200 deaths and 250 hostages and triggered the war. Therefore, one of Israel’s top goals is to capture or kill him and other leaders, who are thought to be hiding in a tunnel in Khan Yunis, in the south of the Palestinian territory.

In December, the Israeli Army dropped flyers in the cities of Gaza and Khan Yunis offering a reward of $400,000 for information on Sinwar, $300,000 for information on his brother Muhamed, and $200,000 for information on Rafa Salameh, the commander of the Khan Yunis battalion, and 100 thousand for information on Mohamed Deif, the leader of Hamas’ military wing.

In the past few weeks, Israeli forces destroyed a flat owned by Sinwar in northern Gaza that had a tunnel network. Meanwhile, Hamas’ second-in-command, Saleh Al Arouri, was killed last week in an attack in Beirut. Israel is accused of being behind the attack, but its officials have not confirmed or denied it.

The leader of the Islamist group’s political office, Ismail Haniyeh, resides in Qatar. According to Israeli authorities, an estimated 132 people, including two children under 5 years old, are still held captive by Hamas in Gaza, of whom 25 have died. On the other hand, 110 hostages were freed alive and the Army retrieved the bodies of another 11 hostages, including three who were accidentally killed by Israeli soldiers.

On Monday, Islamic Jihad released a video that allegedly shows an Israeli hostage alive in the Gaza Strip. In the video distributed by the Palestinian Islamist movement, a man is seen speaking in English and Hebrew and requesting his release. He also honors Tamir Adar, another hostage whose death was reported in early January by members of his kibbutz, located in southern Israel.

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