Photo Credit: Majdi Fathi/TPS
Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar at Hamas post-war rally, May 25, 2021

Yahya al-Sinwar, who barely won a second term in office, is cementing his control over the Gaza Strip, at the expense of Israeli civilians as well as the Palestinian Authority, by increasing the terrorism committed within Israel against innocent civilians.

Over the past month, Hamas has been trying to ignite a blaze of terror all over Judea and Samaria and to incite Israeli Arabs as well, while keeping the Gaza Strip out of the conflict. Hamas’ efforts and moves are part of a strategy formulated early last year, following the election of the new Hamas leadership.

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Sinwar approached the second election after being “snatched” from Hamas’ Shura council, in early 2017, during his first term.

Then officials in the Shura Council went after Sinwar because they felt that he was too “civilian,” because of the “too generous” negotiations that he held with the Egyptians and more. After disappearing for two weeks and not being seen in public, Sinwar returned and planned the new strategy of attrition against Israel. This was seen in the in the form of “return parades” where people marched on the fence separating Israel from the Gaza Strip.

However, these provocations did not bring the desired result and so, after winning his second term, Sinwar began to strengthen and repair his relationship with the military arm of Hamas and with his commander and mentor, Muhammad Daf.

After Abu Mazen canceled last year’s elections and Hamas failed to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip, Sinwar also began to think about his endangered political future. With the support or recommendation of Muhammad Daf, Sinwar launched two missiles at Jerusalem while taking advantage of the al-Aqsa issue and the tensions surrounding Sheikh Jarrah. Tis was to challenge Abu Mazen who Hamas says stole the elections.

Sinwar was very surprised by the mobilization of Israeli Arabs in response to his call. This led to his decision to exploit the use of Israeli Arabs in acts of terror and explains, in part, why Sinwar now thinks he can intimidate MK, Mansour Abbas, who leads the Arab Ra’am party which supported the current coalition government.

Hamas is setting up in the Gaza Strip a “Committee to Support Israeli Arabs”, which is intended to ignite protests in the Negev and elsewhere.

The moves taken recently by Sinwar indicate daring and great wisdom: Hamas fires one rocket from Lebanon to signal to Israel the price of the loss in the event of an attack in the Gaza Strip, which cries out for reconstruction, and kneels under economic pressure and has begun to enjoy a series of Israeli relief.

Qatari money is also flowing into the Gaza Strip through Egyptian fuel trucks. 12,000 Gazans work in Israel and pour millions into the Hamas administration.

In another step in his strategy, Sinwar prevents Islamic Jihad from firing at Israel but unleashes Hamas activity in Judea and Samaria, led by his comrade, Saleh Aruri.

Gradually, Sinwar shackles Israel by being backed by the Iranian axis. This also explains the unprecedented speech of the Revolutionary Guards commander, Hussein Salami, in a broadcast to residents of the Gaza Strip. Sinwar even dared recently to take responsibility for the terrorist attack in Ariel and signaled to everyone that Hamas’ long arm also reaches the territories of Judea and Samaria.

As a result of all this, Sinwar finds Israel bound and confused, and even when journalists and MKs discuss the idea of eliminating him, Israel is in a hurry, according to Arab sources, to send a message to Hamas that it does not intend to eliminate senior leaders.

Sinwar can stir up eastern Jerusalem and the territories of Judea and Samaria out of hope and prayer to see Abu Mazen fall and also provoke instability in the territories of Israel.

This is how Sinwar paves his way both in front of Aruri, his friend and in front of Hania, his rival patron, and this is how Hamas maintains what it calls the “distribution of burdens” between the arenas, and while Israel tries to differentiate between the arenas, Hamas manages to turn them into one oiled system.

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Baruch reports on Arab affairs for TPS.