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Netanyahu: Israeli troops surround Hamas senior leader Sinwar’s home

IDF International Spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said “Yahya Sinwar is the face of evil” • Israeli prime minister: “I said that our forces can reach anywhere in the Gaza Strip.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the Knesset in Jerusalem, Nov. 27, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the Knesset in Jerusalem, Nov. 27, 2023. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.

The Israel Defense Forces has surrounded the residence of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in the Gaza Strip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Wednesday night.

“Last night, I said that our forces can reach anywhere in the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu said, referring to Tuesday’s press conference in which he vowed to fully demilitarize the coastal enclave.

“Now they surround Sinwar’s house. His house is not a fortress, and he can escape, but it’s only a matter of time before we get to him,” vowed the premier. Sinwar is believed to live in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.

On Oct. 14, IDF International Spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht told journalists that Sinwar and his entire command team were in Israel’s sights. He stated: “Yahya Sinwar is the face of evil.”

Hecht said Sinwar was the mastermind behind the Oct. 7 terror attacks on Israel, just as Osama bin Laden was behind the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

Complementary to the military effort, Jerusalem is putting pressure on the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit the 137 hostages remaining in Hamas captivity in Gaza, Netanyahu said on Wednesday.

“Today, I spoke with the president of the Red Cross again and told her to turn to Qatar, which has been proven to have leverage on Hamas, and to demand Red Cross visits to our hostages, in addition to providing them with medicine, of course,” stated the prime minister.

‘Gaza must be demilitarized’

In his primetime address to the nation on Tuesday, Netanyahu said that Israel will not accept any international force in the Gaza Strip.

“Gaza must be demilitarized, and there is only one force that can take care of this demilitarization,” he said. “This force is the Israel Defense Forces. No international force can be responsible for this.”

“We saw what happened in other places where international forces were brought in for the purpose of demilitarization. I am not willing to close my eyes and accept any other arrangement,” the premier added.

Netanyahu has repeatedly stressed that Jerusalem will maintain security control over Gaza after its forces complete the goal of defeating Hamas.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz on Nov. 11, Netanyahu said: “The IDF will continue to have security control over the Gaza Strip for as long as necessary to prevent terrorism from it.”

“The massacre on Oct. 7 proved once and for all wherever there is no Israeli security control, terrorism will return and establish itself,” said Netanyahu. “Therefore, I will not agree to concede security control under any circumstances.”

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