‘Gaza’s Bin Laden’ Yahya Sinwar drops off radar leaving headless Hamas scrambling for new terror boss, Israel says

‘Gaza’s Bin Laden’ Yahya Sinwar drops off radar leaving headless Hamas scrambling for new terror boss, Israel says

HAMAS is scrambling to find a new terror leader as Yahya Sinwar has dropped off the radar, Israel claims.

The brute – branded Gaza’s bin Laden – is being hunted down by the IDF, who have vowed to catch him “dead or alive”.

GettyHamas’ Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar pictured in April 2022[/caption]

Israel Defense Forces – IDFFootage appeared to show Sinwar escaping through the tunnel underneath Gaza[/caption]

Sinwar, 61, is feared to have masterminded the October 7 bloodbath.

Israel’s military chiefs have vowed their offensive must not end until the terror boss is dead.

But defence minister Yoav Gallant has claimed Hamas is now frantically looking for a replacement for Sinwar, who is said to have been uncontactable for weeks.

Gallant said the group is working out who would control the Gaza Strip as “Hamas’ Gaza operation is unresponsive, without local leadership for dialogue, prompting external leaders to seek a new internal head”.

He added: “Hamas does not trust its commanders, this is a very, very noticeable thing.

“The Hamas-Gaza station does not answer, there is no one to talk to as leadership on the ground.

“That means there is a tender for who will manage Gaza.”

Question marks hang over who could replace Sinwar – but Mohammed Deif could be the one to take the helm.

The one-eyed chief, known as the anonymous “voice of war”, has lurked in the shadows for years.

A man of infamy, terror and anonymity – he has long haunted the Gaza Strip as the commander of al-Qassam brigades, Hamas’s military wing.

For decades, Israel has relentlessly pursued Deif as he has moved in darkness, through underground tunnels and safe houses across in the Gaza Strip.

There are only two existing decade-old photos of Deif – known as “The Guest” – and he has not been seen in public for decades.

The shadowy figure has been wanted by Israeli intelligence since the 1990s when he first began establishing al-Qassam Brigades.

Sinwar, meanwhile, spent 22 years in an Israeli prison for terrorist murder and kidnap plots and spent every second honing his burning hatred for his captors.

His astonishing rise to the top of the Hamas terror tree came despite being sentenced to four life sentences in 1989 for planning the abduction and killing of two Israeli soldiers and the murder of four Palestinians he suspected of working with Israel.

The bearded beast’s life was first saved when he was cured of cancer by an operation in a prison.

Then in 2011 he was freed, among 1,026 others, in a prisoner exchange for a single Israeli soldier in a deal that has been damned by his thousands of victims ever since.

Israeli intelligence chiefs told yesterday how — even while in prison — the fanatical fiend killed as many as 15 Palestinians he suspected of treachery, usually with a razor blade or machete.

Who is Mohammed Deif?

ONE-eyed, wheel-chair bound maniac Mohammed Deif started from nothing but rode the tides of fury and terror to command the ruthless fighters responsible for the deaths of 1,000 Israelis.

The Hamas chief was born Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri in 1965 and grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp in Gaza.

He would later become known as only Deif — which means “The Guest” in Arabic – a nod to his life spent on the run, staying with sympathisers and evading Israeli assassins and air strikes.

Little is known about his childhood, but it was spent enduring the grinding Israel-Palestinian conflict that has long scarred the Middle East.

The shadowy figure has been wanted by Israeli intelligence since the 1990s when he first began establishing al-Qassam Brigades.

He is believed to have first joined Hamas in the late 1980s, hardened in his pursuit to wage armed resistance against Israel.

Deif began rising in influence and power and reportedly was a close confidante of Yehya Ayyash – a bomb-maker known as “the engineer”.

The militant commander was responsible for a deadly spate of bus bombings in Israel in the 1990s until he was eventually assassinated in 1996.

But the bombings continued with Deif believed to be at the helm and hell-bent on revenge for the killing of his former ally.

Hundreds of Israeli’s were killed in the suicide attacks that the terror chief orchestrated on buses and in cafes.

In 2002, he took over as leader of Hamas’ militant wing, where he designed both their signature Qassam rocket and a matrix of underground tunnels in Gaza.

Deif has spent most of his adult life confined to these tunnels as Israel attempts to target him from above.

He survived numerous assassination attempts throughout the 2000s, escaping some with life-altering injuries.

And his jailers told how the evil genius dedicated his every waking moment to studying his enemy as he began plotting the conflict now raging in Gaza.

Coward Sinwar went into hiding following the October 7 massacre, where more than 1,200 people were barbarically killed.

But last week Israel released footage appearing to show him fleeing in a terror tunnel with his family.

The minute long clip features Sinwar in a tunnel underneath the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis – a known terrorist stronghold.

He walks behind what appears to be his wife along with three of his children, who are led by Sinwar’s brother Ibrahim, according to the IDF.

If the video – aired by the IDF yesterday – is verified it will be the first time the Hamas chief has been seen since he went into hiding ahead of the slaughter.

Sinwar has been described as Israel’s most-wanted man in Gaza and the Israeli military has declared him a “dead man walking.”

In December, the IDF surrounded the Hamas chief’s house but didn’t find him and it is believed he had already fled underground.

It comes as Hamas has been set a three week deadline to free Israel’s remaining hostages – or face a bloodbath in its only remaining stronghold.

Retired general Benny Gantz – a powerful member of Israel‘s war cabinet – said troops would press on with their dreaded assault into Rafah on March 10.

Gantz – tipped to success under-fire PM Benjamin Netanyahu – said: “If by Ramadan (Mar 10) our hostages are not home, the fighting will continue to the Rafah area.”

It was the first time Israel’s leaders have publicly discussed a timeline for an operation in the southern city, where more than half the territory’s 2.3 million people have sought refuge.

Hamas terrorists – believed to include leader Sinwar – are hiding among terrified civilians and a vast tunnel network under the besieged city.

A growing number of nations, including the UK and Germany, have warned Israel against any offensive in the city, warning of a “humanitarian catastrophe”.

But Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz has insisted the offensive will go ahead if the remaining hostages are let go.

The former defence minister said: “The world must know, and Hamas leaders must know – if by Ramadan our hostages are not home, the fighting will continue everywhere, to include the Rafah area.”

Ramadan, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, begins on March 10.

GettyThe terror chief has been hiding in Gaza’s underground tunnels for months[/caption]

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