Axios “Operation Khan Yunis focuses on eliminating Sinwar”
It is assessed that securing new recruits will hasten the collapse of Hamas.
While Israel is spreading propaganda that Hamas members are continuously surrendering, it is focusing on eliminating Hamas top leader Yahya Shinwar (61).
On the 10th (local time), the U.S. Axios, citing Israeli officials, reported that Israeli military operations in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza Strip, are focused on capturing and killing Shinwar, the most wanted person.
Sinwar is the leader who planned Hamas’s ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’ surprise attack on October 7, and is understood to be controlling Hamas operations, including recent hostage negotiations.
The IDF believes that Sinwar is hiding in Khan Yunisna underground tunnels. There were also reports that Sinwar escaped from northern Gaza using a humanitarian convoy early in the war and fled to the south.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on the 6th that the IDF surrounded Sinwar’s house in Khan Yunis, but Sinwar was not found. He then pressed, saying, “Even if you run and hide, we will catch you.”
Israel believes that eliminating Sinwar and his associates will cause Hamas to collapse militarily and hasten the end of the war in the Gaza Strip.
A senior Israeli Defense Ministry official said in Khan Yunis that the goal of the operation was to secure Shinwar’s new recruits, whether he was dead or alive. He expected, “Hamas will collapse even if we do not eliminate Shinwar, but if we kill him, it will collapse faster.”
Israel is also accelerating its psychological warfare by cajoling Hamas members into surrender.
In his speech that day, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “The end of Hamas has begun,” and “It is over now.” He cajoled Hamas members, saying, “Don’t risk your life for Sinwar, but surrender now.”
The Times of Israel (TOI) also reported that Youssef al-Mansi, who served as Hamas’ communications minister, said during interrogation, “The Hamas leadership is a bunch of crazy people led by Shinwar.”
Previously, IDF Chief of Staff Herzy Halevi also said on the 9th that many Hamas militants are surrendering in the northern Gaza Strip, which is a signal of Hamas’ military collapse.
On the same day, a video showing dozens of Palestinian men surrendering to the IDF was aired on Israeli television. IDF officials claimed some were Hamas fighters and others were civilians. The authenticity remains unclear to this day.
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.