"Matter Of Time Until...": Israel Closes In On Hamas Founder Yahya Sinwar

Hamas founder Yahya Sinwar has been called the architect of the October 7 attack on Israel.

'Matter Of Time Until...': Israel Closes In On Hamas Founder Yahya Sinwar

Yahya Sinwar was elected as Hamas' leader in Gaza in 2017

New Delhi:

As fighting continued in Gaza's main southern city, Israel on Thursday said that it was closing in on one of the Hamas founders Yahya Sinwar, who has been called the architect of the October 7 attacks by Israeli officials. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video statement that Israeli forces had surrounded Sinwar's house and that it was "only a matter of time until they find him".

"Last night I said that our forces could go anywhere in the Gaza Strip. They are currently surrounding Sinwar's house. His home is not his castle, and he can flee, but it is only a matter of time until we find him," Mr Netanyahu, who has vowed to "crush" Hamas for its October 7 attack that killed over 1,200 Israelis, said.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Sinwar is hiding underground. 

"Sinwar is not above ground; he is underground," IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said.

"I don't want to elaborate where and how and what we know in terms of intelligence. This is not the place to talk about such things in the media. Our job is to find Sinwar and kill him," he added.

Who Is Hamas Founder Yahya Sinwar?

Yahya Sinwar was born in the Khan Younis refugee camp. The 61-year-old was elected as Hamas' leader in Gaza in 2017.

He rose to prominence as a ruthless enforcer, the head of the Al-Majd security apparatus which tracked, killed, and punished Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel's secret service before he was jailed.

Sinwar was arrested in 1988 and was sentenced to consecutive life terms accused of planning the abduction and murder of two Israeli soldiers and the murder of four Palestinians.

According to reports, he is leading negotiations for prisoner-hostage swaps and directing military operations along with Deif and another commander, possibly from bunkers beneath Gaza.

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A senior Israeli security official told reporters recently that Sinwar had wielded influence over talks mediated by Qatar that led to the ceasefire that ended last week after the release of more than 200 Palestinian prisoners by Israel in return for dozens of Israeli hostages held in Gaza.

Since the war began, the Israeli forces have killed two members of the Hamas ruling politburo and associates of Sinwar.

Israel, meanwhile, continued to fight Hamas members in the heart of southern Gaza's main city Khan Yunis.

Gaza health officials say that more than 16,000 people have been killed in Israeli bombardment and ground offensive.

(With agency inputs)

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