Photo Credit: Atia Mohammed/Flash90
Yehya Sinwar in Gaza City, December 14, 2022.

Al-Arabi Al-Jadid on Wednesday cited “a leading source in the Hamas movement” who claimed the news about the demise of Hamas was premature.

The source said that the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Al-Sinwar, “is not isolated from reality there, despite the ongoing war and Israeli intelligence operations that do not stop throughout the day.” He insisted that “talk that Al-Sinwar is isolated in the tunnels is nothing but an allegation by Netanyahu and his agencies to cover up their failure to achieve the goals declared before the Israeli public and his allies,” and stressed that Sinwar “is carrying out his work as a leader of the movement in the field.”


The source said that Sinwar “recently inspected areas that witnessed clashes between the resistance and the occupation army, and met some of the movement’s fighters on the ground and not in the tunnels.”

This is the video that surfaced depicting Sinwar’s jolly walk on the streets of Rafah. Most media outfits have suggested it is a mix of old videos.

The source pointed to “the deliberations that took place recently between the movement’s leadership at home and abroad – without clarifying their nature – during which Sinwar informed the movement’s leadership abroad about the situation of the resistance in the Gaza Strip, during which he confirmed, with accurate numbers and field reports, the strength and solidity of the resistance’s position and its ability to confront the occupation forces.”

At the same time, the source confirmed that Hamas “deals seriously at all times with all proposals related to reaching a ceasefire agreement,” considering that “the American administration revealed its true face during the round of negotiations, by being an interested party in the war on the Gaza Strip and not a mediator.”

He said: “Since the end of that round, the US has been furious after it failed through all pressure attempts to force the resistance to accept surrender terms in the interest of the occupation government and release the Israeli prisoners without real commitments that would end the suffering of the Palestinian people.”

The source denied that Hamas was under pressure from the Egyptian and Qatari mediators, stressing that “the positions of Cairo and Doha were understanding of the resistance’s demands and conditions.”

The hostages’ families’ headquarters issued a statement saying, “The news about Sinwar’s exit to the streets of Gaza was checked for reliability by intelligence officials. His departure from the depths of the tunnels, where the hostages are still being held, is the picture of Israeli failure, whether it was filmed or not.”

Well, it kind of, depends on how reliable the Al-Arabi Al-Jadid’s source was. But even if the report was 100% accurate, as the families are suggesting, the notion that the fate of around 100 hostages would impede Israel’s war for its survival is bizarre – especially considering the close to 2,000 Israelis who have perished after the last hostage exchange, when murderers with Jewish blood on their hands, including Yahya Sinwar, were released from Israeli security prisons.

That the families are blaming the failure to bring home their loved ones on PM Netanyahu and his government is their right in a democratic country. But as to the reality of that mad hatter’s claim, there’s this:

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo officiates the swearing-in ceremony for David Satterfield as US Ambassador to Turkey, August 14, 2019. / State Department photo by Ron Przysucha

On Monday, Ambassador David Satterfield, the US Special Envoy for Middle East Humanitarian Issues, told reporters: “There could be a six-week ceasefire today if Hamas would agree to the terms of a deal on the table. It would help bring immediate relief to the people of Gaza. It would also create the conditions needed to enable the urgent humanitarian work that must be done. Hamas, and Hamas alone, is responsible for the failure to return hostages and implement a ceasefire.”

Satterfield concluded:

“I have been working on Arab-Israeli, Palestinian-Israeli issues for over 40 years. For the past 30 years, since September 13th, 1993, the Oslo Agreement, Hamas has had a choice. The choice is to accept what we refer to as the Oslo principles, then the Quartet principles; to eschew the use of violence; and to accept a negotiated, peaceful settlement to the Palestinian-Israel issue. Hamas has made a choice, but it was not one in favor of a peaceful resolution. Hamas, for its own ideological and political reasons, has chosen in favor of violence, and threat, to pursue its ambitions. The greatest victims of this have been Palestinians themselves, not just the Israelis who were massacred on October 7th in that paroxysm of bestial violence.
“Hamas still has a choice. The fighting in Gaza, and the suffering of the Palestinian people, could end tonight if Hamas chose to accept the deal for the release of hostages and the establishment of a ceasefire, and that ceasefire could with further releases be sustained. But as in the past, Hamas has taken a different course. Let us not lose sight in our correct focus on the requirements incumbent upon Israel to assure all of those humanitarian steps I’ve just spoken to that the fundamental actor responsible for the suffering here is a terrorist group, Hamas.”

By the way, it is frankly maddening that Israel should be making its case against Hamas and receive support to that end by an American official, albeit a sane one.


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