Top Hamas leader seen in public for first time since Gaza war

Yahya Sinwar was seen on Saturday as he paid his respects at a house of mourning for a Hamas commander killed in the war.

By Associated Press

The top Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, made his first public appearance since the terror group launched a war against Israel earlier this month.

After terrorists in Gaza launched a massive barrage of rockets at Tel Aviv, Israel began a campaign of retaliatory strikes that included bombing the homes of senior Hamas figures during 11 days of fighting, as part of its attack on the group’s military infrastructure.

The home of Sinwar was also struck.

Sinwar was seen on Saturday as he paid his respects at a house of mourning for a Hamas commander killed in the war.

Israel’s defense minister, Benny Gantz, said has top Hamas leaders remain targets, even after an Egyptian-brokered truce went into effect early Friday.

In the fighting, Hamas and other terror factions fired more than 4,000 rockets toward Israel, which responded with hundreds of airstrikes against terror targets in Gaza.

Naji Sarhan, deputy of Gaza’s works and housing ministry, told The Associated Press on Saturday that the estimated financial losses from the fighting were $150 million. He says assessment is still ongoing.

A cease-fire took effect Friday after an 11-day campaign that left more than 250 dead.

An Egyptian diplomat says two teams of Egyptian mediators are in Israel and the Palestinian-controlled areas to continue talks on firming up a cease-fire deal — and securing a long-term calm.

The diplomat said Saturday discussions include implementing agreed-on measures in Gaza and Jerusalem, including ways to prevent practices that led to the latest fighting.

The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss behind-the-scenes deliberations.