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“LIKE A CORNERED RAT:” How Hamas Leader Sinwar Has Survived Since Oct. 7

Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, one of the masterminds of the Oct. 7 terror attacks, is hiding like a “cornered rat” in tunnels in Gaza, the New York Post reported.

The report quotes Colin Clarke, a counter-terrorism expert at the New York-based Soufan Group, who said that Sinwar has survived by staying radio-silent and using Israeli hostages and Gazan civilians as human shields.

“He’s likely still in Gaza, deep within the tunnel network and surrounded by hostages to secure his safety,” Clarke said. “Sinwar is someone who is out for his own survival.

“It’s his ultimate goal, like a cornered rat.”

Clarke added that Sinwar likely uses a network of couriers to transmit his commands, including his repeated rejections of ceasefire/hostage release deals.

The “primitive method” enables Sinwar to avoid using cellphones, which the IDF could easily track.

“Israel has a very high-tech network scanning for Hamas leaders, and he’s managed to avoid that,” Clarke said. “He’s clearly gone primitive.”

Sinwar is hoping to simply survive the war in the tunnels despite the mounting death toll of Hamas terrorists above ground along with Gazan civilians.

“As long as he and Hamas survive this, he’s won,” Clarke said. “And the more deaths the better for him since he can use it to garner backlash against Israel.”

Clarke said that the only way for Israel to locate Sinwar would be via an informant. However, considering Sinwar’s reputation for brutally torturing and murdering suspected informants, finding a willing informant would be difficult. In his younger years, Sinwar’s brutal history earned him the title of “The Butcher of Khan Younis.”

Eventually, his murders caught up with him and Sinwar was arrested for killing two IDF soldiers and four Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel. But after 23 years in prison, he was released as part of the Shalit deal in 2011.

“His capture and the years he spent in jail built up his reputation, his ‘street cred,’ and that helped him rise among the ranks when he returned to Gaza,” Clarke said.

A year after his release, he was appointed as a member of Hamas’s political bureau. In 2017, he became Hamas de factor leader, partly because Israel eliminated many of his rivals and superiors.

“Israel is among the best at tracking down terrorists and taking them out, and in a way, Sinwar’s accession to power was a product of Israel’s own success in taking out extremists,” he added.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

4 Responses

  1. He was released in the infamous Shalit deal, which has now cost close to 2000 lives and 250 hostages – and people a pressurising Bibi to repeat that mistake and wait for the next attack choliloh…

  2. This is a war without precedent. Israel never fought such a war before. You cannot compare it with any previous ones.

  3. To Veyizmir:
    OY! Veyizmir
    This war is no different than previous wars. Success in the past was clearly Siyata D’Shmaya, as the israeli govt. was more tolerant and supportive of Charedim and Torah Learning (whether they acknowledged it or not), which is the only Source of success. Now that Govt, elements are hostile, they lose the Siyata D’Shmaya they once enjoyed. Stopping Torah learning and support to Torah institutions is cutting off their own lifeline.
    Those misguided commentors who view torah learners as shirking responsibility to defend the country are encouraging the opposite of success, C”VSH.
    And any commentors who point to the wars in Tanach, and how Yidden were “drafted” to fight, should learn Tanach more closely, with Medroshim and Chazal. One simple well known fact is that any one “drafted” to fight a war, who has even the simplest aveirah of being mafsik when putting on tefillin, for example, was sent home. So obviously, the ones remaining were tzadikim of the highest order, beyond our comprehension. And the wars were waged according to the dictates of nevi’im and Urim V’Tumim. Is that where we are today? Does today’s Israeli army resemble anything remotely similar to that?
    So, how can commentors criticize Torah learners, and expect them to stop learning to “defend ” the country. As is well known that Rav Yisroel Salanter ZT”L said , that when someone closes his gemoroh in Vilna, a yid will be r”l mechalel shabbos in Paris. (The version I heard). So does any one want a Torah learner to close his gemorah?

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