Photo Credit: IDF website
Hamas atrocities mastermind Yahya Sinwar with a child and a sub-machine gun.

President Biden stated that he would suspend forthcoming arms deliveries to Israel if its military forces initiated a comprehensive invasion into the urban heart of Rafah. According to US officials, intelligence suggests Hamas’s leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar’s most probable location is not in Rafah, but in the network of tunnels underlying Khan Younis, the next major city to the north. This intelligence could potentially undermine the Israeli justification for the ongoing military operations in Rafah.

Seven months after the October 7 atrocities that he masterminded, the fact that Yahya Sinwar is still alive and well and deciding the fate of one hundred or so Israeli hostages and two million Gazan hostages, is “emblematic of the failures of Israel’s war, which has ravaged much of Gaza but left Hamas’s top leadership largely intact,” the NY Times wrote on Sunday, reminding readers that back in October 2023, Israel had declared Sinwar a “dead man walking.”


“Sinwar has emerged not only as a strong-willed commander but as a shrewd negotiator who has staved off an Israeli battlefield victory while engaging Israeli envoys at the negotiating table,” noted the Times, citing Hamas, Israeli, and US officials.

Salah al-Din al-Awawdeh who shared a prison cell with Sinwar in Israel, told the Times, “There’s no decision that can be made without consulting Sinwar… Sinwar isn’t an ordinary leaderhe’s a powerful person and an architect of events. He’s not some sort of manager or directorhe’s a leader.”

It appears that Sinwar is far more popular in Gaza than the man who let him go, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, is in Israel.

The Times cited Intelligence officials from the United States and Israel who have dedicated significant efforts over the past months to analyze the motivations driving Sinwar’s actions. The consensus among analysts in both countries is that Sinwar’s primary motivation stems from a desire to exact retribution against Israel and undermine its position. Conversely, the well-being of the Gaza populace or the establishment of an independent “Palestinian” state appears to be of secondary importance, according to the intelligence analysts’ evaluations.

“Mr. Sinwar himself could not be reached for comment,” concludes the Times report wryly.

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