Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar seen fleeing in one of the myriad tunnels beneath the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced Sunday that Hamas leaders outside of Gaza are shopping for a new local chief to replace Yahya Sinwar.

“There is a tender for a new ruling party; the Hamas Gaza station isn’t answering,” Gallant said during a situation assessment at the IDF Southern Command with CO Major General Yaron Finkelman and the command’s staff officers.


Gallant told the officers that “the surrender of hundreds of terrorists in the hospitals in Khan Younis proves the Hamas Khan Younis Brigade has been defeated, and the terrorists are afraid to fight.”

The military brass discussed the operational progress of the forces in the Gaza Strip with an emphasis on the activity in the Nasser Hospital area during the meeting. The next point on the agenda was a review of the operational plans for continued fighting against Hamas battalions in central Gaza and in Rafah.

“I think that this is the highest level of fighting that the IDF has demonstrated for many years and this is due to command, coordination, synchronization” of all the different branches of the military. “Everything together works very impressively,” he said.

“The deepening of the action in Khan Younis continues to prove itself. Two hundred terrorists surrendered at Nasser Hospital, dozens surrendered at Amal Hospital; this shows they have lost their fighting spirit,” Gallant said.

“People who were with RPGs, weapons and guns, reached the moment of truth – and did not fight. This indicates something about their understanding of the power relations, that they understood that their fate would be to surrender or die; there is no third option.”

Gallant added that he believes Hamas has no confidence in its commanders. “This is very apparent,” he said.

No one is responding to calls from the external leadership abroad, he noted. “There is no one to talk to on the ground and the external leadership is looking for the local leadership. That means there is a “bid” for who will manage Gaza,” he noted. “There is no party in control.

“The Khan Younis Brigade has been defeated and no longer functions as a military entity,” Gallant added.

“Hamas is left with forces in central Gaza and with the Rafah Brigade. What stands between them and a complete collapse as a military system is a decision by the IDF. There is no one here to come to their aid – no Iranians and no international assistance.”

Gallant said the IDF will disband the remaining six Hamas battalions. “We have no right to stop as long as there are 134 abductees in the field,” he emphasized.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.