Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar told journalists on Wednesday that he’d rather be eliminated by Israel than die of an illness.
“The greatest gift Israel can give me is to assassinate me,” he said. “I’d rather die a martyr from an F-16 than die of COVID or some other disease.”
Sinwar was responding to Israel’s threat following the ceasefire to “come for Sinwar’s head” if Hamas violates the truce. Finance Minister Israel Katz said earlier this week that even the slightest breach of the ceasefire will lead to a forceful response and even the elimination of Sinwar.
Sinwar also told journalists that there are “10,000 suicide bombers in Israel” who are ready to respond if Israel carries out any violations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Har Habayis in Jerusalem.
Despite Sinwar’s words of bravado, he spent Operation Guardian of the Walls huddling in a bunker and other hiding places, well-knowing Israel had him in their crosshairs. He only emerged from his bunker the day after the ceasefire, the first time his face was seen in public since the operation began.
Following the truce, Defense Minister Benny Gantz sent a threatening message to Sinwar, saying that at no point during the conflict did Israel stop attempts to eliminate him and Hamas military leaders Mohammed Deif and Marwan Issa, and at no point in time will Israel end future attempts to eliminate them.
לראשונה מתחילת הלחימה: הופצו תמונות של יחיא סינוואר מחוץ למסתור. סינוואר ביקר את משפחתו של מח"ט העיר עזה שחוסל במבצע, באסם עיסא@galberger @AlonAmitzi https://t.co/7CvAitSQ5b pic.twitter.com/UwEyBfKJVy
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) May 22, 2021
Operation Guardian of the Walls began when Hamas sent a message to Israel that if Israeli security forces aren’t removed from the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, the terror group will launch rockets toward Jerusalem.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)