‘Unholy warriors’ – a history of sex crimes and male rape by Hamas leader and his brother

Hamas leader Yahya covered up brother Muhammed’s assaults of own men in prison, and sexually harassed fellow prisoners himself.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Yahya Sinwar, Hamas chief in Gaza, and his closest aide, his brother Muhammed, have a sordid past of committing sexual crimes, with Yahya covering up Muhammed’s worse crimes for years, Channel 14’s Baruch Yedid reported Wednesday.

While still rising in the ranks of the terror organization, Yahya was imprisoned in Israel from the late 1990s until his release in the Gilad Shalit deal in 2011. In an interview on 103FM, Yedid said that there is an intelligence file in the Palestinian Authority (PA), Hamas’ greatest nemesis, which “talks about sexual abuse done by the older brother Yahya, among other things, from prisoners who were released and gave evidence to the Palestinian authorities.”

“One of them says that in 1997 or 1998, when Sinwar was detained in Ashkelon prison, he kept silicon accessories and toys in his cell, with which he also sexually harassed fellow prisoners.  Ashkelon prison in those times only had male prisoners.”

Muhammed, however, has a much worse record, according to the report.

After being released from a PA jail in 2000, Muhammed returned to the Gaza Strip, and by 2005 he was a member of Hamas’ military leadership. While Yahya was still in prison, Yedid said, “The heads of the military branch and the prisoners’ leadership told him that his younger brother was involved in a series of acts of pedophilia and sexual harassment of boys, including Hamas operatives,” both in the Palestinian prison and when free in Gaza.

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Yahya absolutely forbade any investigation against his brother, saying that “Families of people I destroyed are behind the rumors.”

In a report Yedid did for Maariv Monday on the subject, he wrote that Yahya had shifted those same charges to the families of some 20 people who were accused of being collaborators with Israel.

In the early 2000s, Yahya also quashed an internal inquiry about his brother being a Shabak collaborator himself because he was afraid that Muhammed’s sexual assaults would be discovered in any exhaustive investigation, said Yedid.

Overall, Yahya forbade internal Hamas investigations into male rapes also committed in Israeli prisons due to his concern that they would eventually enmesh his brother.

Most of this information, Yedid said, came to the attention of Israeli intelligence from Samir Kuntar, a Hezbollah terrorist who sat in Israeli jails for decades after murdering the Haran family in 1979. Kuntar was released in a 2008 deal in exchange for the bodies of two IDF soldiers, assumed a senior role in the Lebanese terror group, and was killed in an alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria in 2015.

The protection of Muhammed extended to influencing the outcome of the deal that set Yahya free to eventually become the mastermind of the October 7 Hamas massacre in Israel that sparked the ongoing war with Hamas.

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According to the Arab Affairs reporter, “There are claims by Hamas operatives that their names were not included on the list of those to be released in the Shalit deal only because Muhammed didn’t want them out, because of the sex incidents.”