Israeli defense minister says people in Gaza can end the war faster by killing Hamas leader themselves.
- Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called on people in Gaza to kill the Hamas leader themselves.
- He said the death of Yahya Sinwar would “shorten the war.” Israel has pledged to destroy Hamas.
- Gallant said that so far 12 Hamas battalion commanders have been killed.
Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that people in Gaza could end Israel’s invasion sooner by killing Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar themselves.
“The Hamas leadership is responsible. We will get to that leadership,” Gallat said in a press conference, per The Times of Israel.
“We will get to Yahya Sinwar and eliminate him. If the residents of Gaza get there ahead of us, that will shorten the war.”
Sinwar, who helped found Hamas’ security apparatus, was elected to be the group’s leader in the Gaza Strip in 2017. He has been described as a hardliner who rejects any reconciliation with Israel.
Before taking on his role as Hamas leader, Sinwar spent over two decades in an Israeli prison for the murder of two Israeli soldiers and Palestinians he viewed as collaborators. He was released in a prisoner swap.
In the press conference, Gallant said that the ground invasion of Gaza was “progressing well” and that 12 Hamas battalion commanders have been killed.
Israel’s attacks on Gaza — particularly the intense campaign of airstrikes — have also taken a huge toll on Gaza’s population, killing some 9,000 people, many of them children , and flattening swathes of the densely populated strip.
Israel has pledged to destroy Hamas in its entirety after the group’s terror attack on southern Israel on October 7, where its fighters killed some 1,400 people, tortured many, and took some 230 hostages back to Gaza.
One of the Hamas leaders Israel said it killed was Mustafa Dalul , the commander of the Sabra Tel al-Hawa Battalion. He played a key role in leading the fight against Israeli troops in Gaza, Israel’s Defense Forces said.
Gallant said that Israeli forces were engaged in heavy battles with Hamas fighters in both the north and south of Gaza.
He pledged that at the end of the war “there will be no more Hamas in Gaza. There will be no more security threat from Gaza on Israel.”
“And Israel will have absolute freedom to take whatever security action it seeks against anyone who raises his head in Gaza [to threaten Israel],” he said, per The Times of Israel.