The leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, has been identified as the mastermind behind the recent attacks on Israel. Sinwar’s history and tactics have caught the attention of Israeli officials, who now realize that they underestimated the threat posed by Hamas.
Sinwar, who has been watching and analyzing the Israelis for decades, was born in a poor neighborhood in Gaza. He played a key role in founding Hamas’s military wing and was responsible for eliminating Palestinian collaborators with Israel. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1989 but continued to exert his influence from behind bars.
During his time in prison, Sinwar became fluent in Hebrew and familiar with Israeli society. He even had collaborators killed, including one whom he personally beheaded. Despite attempts by Israeli authorities to recruit him as an agent, Sinwar remained committed to Hamas and eagerly awaited his release.
In 2011, Sinwar was released as part of a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas. Some Israeli officials believed that he was no longer a threat, but they were proven wrong. Sinwar quickly resumed his connections and activities within Hamas. By 2017, he had risen to become the leader of the group in Gaza.
Sinwar and Hamas had successfully deceived Israel into believing that they were focused on governance and peace. They collaborated with the Palestinian Authority to negotiate work permits for thousands of Gazans to work within Israel. However, it is now clear that Sinwar and his group were using these workers to gather information and plan their attacks.
The recent assault on Israel has brought to light the complacency that had set in among Israeli officials regarding Hamas. They had reduced their surveillance of the Gaza border fence and shifted their focus to other regional threats. Sinwar’s ability to manipulate the Israeli consciousness and plant false ideas in their minds played a significant role in this complacency.
As tensions escalate and the risk of broader war looms, Sinwar’s role as the mastermind behind the attacks has become more apparent. Israeli officials now understand the magnitude of the threat posed by Hamas and the need to reassess their approach to dealing with the group.
Sinwar’s poster now hangs in the defense ministry in Tel Aviv, with lines drawn across the faces of Hamas commanders who have been killed. The plan is to fill the poster with marks, indicating their determination to eliminate the threat posed by Sinwar and his associates.
It remains to be seen how Israel will respond to the attacks and the renewed understanding of the threat posed by Hamas. Sinwar’s actions have shown that Hamas is far from being focused on governance and peace, and the Israeli security establishment will need to adjust their strategies accordingly.