Israel said to place $400,000 bounty on Hamas leader Sinwar

Leaflets circulating on social media appear to offer monetary reward for information leading to top terror group leaders, including $100,000 for military wing head Deif

A leaflet apparently airdropped by the IDF in Gaza offers monetary rewards for information on Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, his brother Muhammed, Rafaa Salameh and Muhammad Deif. (Screenshot from X used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
A leaflet apparently airdropped by the IDF in Gaza offers monetary rewards for information on Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar, his brother Muhammed, Rafaa Salameh and Muhammad Deif. (Screenshot from X used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The Israeli military has appeared to place a bounty on Hamas leaders, reportedly dropping fliers in the Gaza Strip offering money for information on the whereabouts of top Hamas official Yahya Sinwar and other commanders in the terror group.

Images of a pamphlet circulated on social media Thursday, where up to $400,000 was offered for Sinwar and smaller amounts for other leaders. The flier, whose authenticity could not be confirmed, included a telephone number and a contact on the Telegram messaging app, with a promise of confidentiality.

Israel’s military has swept deep into Gaza in a campaign to crush the Hamas terror group and eliminate its leadership. While it says it has killed or captured thousands of terrorists, Hamas’s top leaders remain at large.

The flier offers $400,000 for information on Sinwar, who leads the group in Gaza; $300,000 for information on his brother, Muhammed Sinwar, who commands the terror group’s southern brigade; $200,000 for information on Rafa’a Salameh, the commander of Hamas’s Khan Younis battalion; and $100,000 for information on Muhammad Deif, the commander of Hamas’s military wing, who has survived repeated assassination attempts.

The IDF has dropped leaflets into Gaza several times during the war, which erupted after some 3,000 terrorists burst across the border into southern Israel by land, air and sea, killing some 1,200 people and seizing some 240 hostages of all ages. The vast majority of those killed as gunmen seized border communities were civilians.

Earlier in December, residents of Khan Younis, the largest city in southern Gaza and the latest focus of the Israeli military’s ground offensive, said the army had showered the area with leaflets quoting a verse in the Quran.

The IDF has also dropped leaflets urging civilians to evacuate certain areas, and seeking information on hostages held captive since October 7.

Sinwar took the reins of the terror group in Gaza in 2017, several years after being released from an Israeli prison along with over 1,000 others in exchange for captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Sinwar had been serving four life sentences for leading the abduction and murder of two Israeli soldiers, as well as four Palestinians he suspected of working with Israel.

He is known for his fiery rhetoric and for cheering terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank. He is accused of overseeing the preparations and planning for the October 7 atrocities.

Then-Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (L) and freed Palestinian security prisoner Yahya Sinwar, a founder of the terror group’s military wing, wave as supporters celebrate the release of hundreds of inmates in a swap for captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza on October 21, 2011. (AFP/Said Khatib)

Sinwar is believed to have been in hiding in Hamas’s vast tunnel network since October 7.

His brother, Muhammad Sinwar, is a senior commander in the Hamas military wing, who has claimed he was involved in Shalit’s kidnapping and detention.

Salameh, the head of the terror group’s Khan Younis battalion, has also been in Israel’s sights for years. In 2021, the IDF destroyed his Gaza home, which it said was “part of the terror infrastructure” targeted in the operation.

Hamas military wing commander Muhammad Deif. (Courtesy)

Deif, the elusive Hamas military wing leader, has been on Israel’s most-wanted list for over 25 years for his involvement in the planning and execution of a large number of terror attacks, including many bus bombings.

Israel has attempted to kill Deif at least seven times over the years. The first such attempt took place in 2001, a second in 2002 cost him his eye, and he dodged a third attempt a year later. In 2006, he was seriously injured in a strike but survived, losing both of his legs and one arm.

In 2014, during that year’s Gaza war, Israel again attempted to kill Deif, but narrowly missed him, killing instead his wife, infant son and 3-year-old daughter.

Though Israel initially believed that Deif too had been killed in the strike, he was later determined to have indeed survived.

Agencies contributed to this report. 

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