Sinwar is not in Rafah, Israeli officials report

Israel has made the elimination of Sinwar a major priority in the war against Hamas.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Contrary to prior speculation, October 7th terrorist mastermind, Yahya Sinwar is not hiding in Rafah, but according to intelligence reports, is most likely in tunnels under Khan Younis, an area the IDF left about a month ago, Israeli officials told The New York Times.

Although the IDF has succeeded in eliminating Hamas’s number 3 leader, Marwan Issa, along with a several senior commanders, Sinwar and Mohammed Deif, chief of Hamas’s military wing, still remain at large.

Israel has made the elimination of Sinwar a major priority in the war against Hamas, and at several points, the IDF reported that it was in the process of closing in on the terror leader.

In a video released in February, Sinwar appeared to be walking through a tunnel accompanied by family members.

During recent hostage negotiations, Yahya Sinwar was held responsible by US officials for creating roadblocks preventing potential agreements.

A senior Biden administration official said that although other Hamas leaders in Qatar showed a willingness to compromise, Sinwar’s maximalist demands, such as refusing to release any hostages prior to Israel’s guarantee of a full and permanent ceasefire, continually won out.

“Sinwar has made the decision he’d rather hold [the hostages] rather than securing a ceasefire, and that’s just the truth of the situation,” the official said.

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Israeli president Isaac Herzog said that capturing Hamas head Yahya Sinwar, who masterminded the October 7th attacks, is crucial for the release of the Israeli hostages still held in the Gaza Strip.

The reality is this, and the world and us must accept it, everything begins and ends with Yahya Sinwar,” Herzog said.

“He’s the one who decided on the October 7 massacre, it’s he who has looked to spill the blood of innocents, he who works to enflame the whole region … does everything to ruin coexistence, here and across the region, to cause us to fight with each other and with the whole world,” he continued.

“We must get to Sinwar – either dead or alive – so that we can see the hostages back home,” he added.