According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's army has surrounded the house of the head of the Islamist Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Jihia al-Sinwar could escape, Netanyahu said, according to his office, "but it's only a matter of time before we find him." Sinwar's house is reportedly in Khan Yunis. Israel's army recently expanded its attacks in the Gaza Strip to include the largest city in the south of the sealed-off coastal strip. It is considered a Hamas stronghold.
Experts suspect that the leadership and thousands of Hamas members may have holed up in the extensive network of tunnels beneath the Gaza Strip. Sinwar is not above ground, but underground, said Israel's army spokesman Daniel Hagari. He did not want to provide any further details. It is the military's job to kill Sinwar.
Sinwar was convicted by Israel in 1988 of murdering four suspected collaborators and two Israeli soldiers. He spent more than two decades in Israeli custody. In 2011, Sinwar was one of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners released in exchange for the Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit who was kidnapped in the Gaza Strip. In 2017 he became head of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Sinwar has been at the top of Israel's hit list since the massacre by Hamas and other groups in the Israeli border area on October 7, in which around 1,200 people were killed.