Israel asks Gaza civilians for cooperation in finding Yahia Sinwar. Hamas: “60 hostages missing”
Israel aims to kill Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, to end the war. The message is sent by the Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant, who asks for the collaboration of the population. So far 12 Hamas battalion commanders have been killed, “we will take everyone, the entire chain of command. We will also take Yahia Sinwar”, says Gallant.
If the inhabitants of Gaza help take Sinwar, “this will shorten the war”, adds Gallant, aware however that the conflict is unlikely to end in a short time. “At the end of the war – he assures him – there will no longer be Hamas in Gaza and there will no longer be a security threat from Gaza”.
In an Israeli operation, the home of Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader who usually resides between Turkey and Qatar, was reportedly hit in the Strip. The news comes from ‘Radio al-Aqsa’, close to the movement. It is unclear who was inside the home. Haniyeh, meanwhile, in recent days apparently went to Tehran and met with the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Hamas: “60 hostages missing”
After 4 weeks of war, the fate of around 240 hostages hangs by a thread. Even the news filtering from Gaza is used as an instrument of pressure. In the last few hours, Hamas has announced that over 60 hostages were missing following Israeli air strikes on the Strip.. The news was conveyed by ‘Al Jazeera’ based on information provided by the armed wing of Hamas. According to al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Ubaida, “23 bodies of Israeli hostages were reportedly trapped under the rubble. It seems that we will never be able to reach them due to the occupation’s continued brutal aggression against Gaza,” he said.
Furthermore, in the Strip, Hamas is apparently preventing foreign citizens from leaving Gaza while waiting for Israel to guarantee ambulances from the Palestinian enclave to reach the Rafah crossing towards Egypt. The request comes after Israel admitted on Friday to attacking an ambulance outside Gaza City’s Al-Shifa hospital, the enclave’s largest medical facility. The vehicle was in a convoy headed to Rafah, which is the only remaining option for entering and exiting Gaza while Israel’s attack on the territory is underway. Israel said the ambulance was being used by Hamas fighters.
The International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed it had been informed of the convoy, but did not have any of its ambulances present at the time of the attack. “Even if we were not present, it is still a medical convoy, and any violence against medical staff is unacceptable,” the ICRC said.
More than 700 foreign citizens were expected to leave Gaza through the Rafah crossing on Saturday, according to an official source on the Egyptian side of the crossing. CNN reported Friday that initial efforts to ensure safe passage for foreign citizens into Gaza were hindered in part by Hamas.
The militiamen hidden among the wounded
Furthermore, the movement would have tried to get its militiamen out of Gaza by including them in the list of the wounded. US sources highlighted this again on CNN, underlining that this was “unacceptable for Egypt, for us, for Israel”.
Faced with Hamas’s attempt to include wounded Hamas fighters in the lists, there was a new round of negotiations – the American sources further explain – to ensure that “the wounded Palestinians who went out with foreigners were not members of Hamas, but truly civilians trapped in this horrible, terrifying tragedy.” The turning point came on Tuesday when those with foreign passports and a group of seriously injured people were allowed to go to the Rafah crossing, where the first group left on Wednesday.