Israel announced that it has now completely surrounded, by land and sea, the city of Gaza, which at the same time it has “cut” in two, in its northern and southern parts. Its generals, however, although they are trying to “decapitate” Hamas by exterminating its leading figures (another one was announced to have been killed yesterday), do not even hide what their main goal is. Nor their assessment that if they get him out of the way, then the war might end faster and with fewer casualties: This is Yahya Sinwar, its leader in Gaza, whom Benjamin Netanyahu refers to as a “dead man walking” – in other words, as a dead person who is still walking for the time being, as do the dead in the US, for whom the above designation is used.
It’s about a man whom the Shin Bet, Israel’s intelligence service, knows very well, as he remained imprisoned for 21 years – from 1989, when he was arrested during the first Intifada, to 2011, when he was released along with about a thousand other prisoners during the exchange with soldier Gilat Shalit. All this time, in fact, in addition to organizing the other prisoners, he learned Hebrew and carefully studied the biographies of all the important personalities of Israel. He is a “tough, domineering and highly influential person, with an exceptional capacity for resistance, manipulative skills and a talent for leading crowds”, he says in his “file”, according to the “Financial Times” – with Micah Kobi, a agent who has interrogated him, to assure that he will not surrender, but would prefer to die in Gaza.
Born on the outskirts of Khan Yunis, one of the largest cities in the Gaza Strip, Abu Ibrahim, also known as Abu Ibrahim, was a neighbor of Mohammed Deif, the shadowy man who today leads the military wing of Hamas, the so-called “al-Qassam Brigades” . Having served as an adviser to Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in the 1980s, Yahya knows her like few others. Gradually and after having been the head of the group which punished those who cooperated with Israel in an exemplary manner (he killed 12, for which he was sentenced to prison), he found himself at the helm of the organization, replacing Ibrahim Haniyeh (in 2017).
Undoubtedly not, his great success is that he managed to mislead Israel as to his true intentions, convincing them that he was in no way aiming to attack them – something the Israelis themselves admit. “It’s crazy, but we didn’t get him at all,” Michael Milstein, a former intelligence officer, told the FT.