Sean Rayment

Could killing Yahya Sinwar end the Gaza war?

Yahya Sinwar (photo: Getty)

Somewhere beneath the rambling town of Khan Yunis, Yahya Sinwar, the murderous leader of Hamas in Gaza, is awaiting his fate. The terrorist leader, who orchestrated the October 7th atrocity and the deaths of 1,200 innocent Israelis, knows that his days are numbered.

Either the 61-year-old Palestinian will die from the impact of a 500 lb satellite guided Joint Direct Attack Munition bomb exploding above the fetid hole in which he is hiding or his life will end in a hail of bullets fired by Israeli commandos, with orders to kill and not capture the Hamas leader.

While his death should be rightly celebrated, it will also give the Israelis a useful ‘offramp’ out of the conflict

While his death, when it comes, should be rightly celebrated, his demise will also provide the Israeli government with a useful ‘offramp’ out of the conflict.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised the Israeli people in the wake of the terrorist attacks that he would destroy Hamas. That was always going to be a tall order. After all, how do you destroy an idea, apart from annihilating everyone who believes in it? Even then such a plan probably wouldn’t succeed.

Sinwar’s death should be seen as a useful substitute and could be used to lay the foundations for a longer ceasefire, where one of the central conditions should be the freeing of all of the remaining 130 hostages, along with how Gaza will be administered in the future.

Clearly Israel will have to negotiate with the Palestinians over Gaza’s future and who will control the territory at some stage, unless Mr Netanyahu intends to occupy the region indefinitely.

Back in 2001, after the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon Building in Washington, Britain joined the US in sending special forces into Afghanistan with the aim of killing Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda’s Saudi-born leader.

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Written by
Sean Rayment
Sean Rayment served as a Captain in the Parachute Regiment in the late 1980s. As a defence correspondent, he has reported on wars in the Balkans, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf and Africa

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