Gallant says Sinwar is ‘on the run,’ too ‘busy with his personal survival’ to command Hamas

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Yahya Sinwar, leader of the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza, gestures during a rally in Beit Lahiya on May 30, 2021. (Atia Mohammed/ Flash90)
Yahya Sinwar, leader of the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza, gestures during a rally in Beit Lahiya on May 30, 2021. (Atia Mohammed/ Flash90)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says in a statement to the public that Hamas’s leadership, including Yahya Sinwar, is “on the run.”

“Sinwar goes from hideout to hideout, is unable to communicate with his surroundings, and in recent days, IDF troops have found significant materials in the places where he had recently been, and thanks to them, we are deepening our grip on Hamas’s plans,” Gallant says.

Gallant says there are disagreements between Hamas officials in the Strip and those abroad, which “indicate panic and distress” in the terror group.

“Sinwar does not lead the campaign, does not command the forces. He is busy with his personal survival. He turned from the head of Hamas into a fugitive terrorist, and IDF forces continue to pursue him,” he says.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant makes comments to the media on February 5, 2024. (Screenshot/GPO)

Gallant also says that defeating Hamas requires a “political act,” referring to decisions over who will run civilian matters in the Strip in the day after.

“Only the advancement of a political alternative will ensure the end of Hamas’s rule. There will be no civilian Israeli control in the Strip. This is the time to make the right decisions so that we can meet the political goals we have set,” he adds, in what Hebrew media have interpreted as a criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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