Hamas Leader: We Have Israel 'Right Where We Want Them'

Wall Street Journal obtains texts revealing brutal strategy of Yahya Sinwar
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2024 9:29 AM CDT
Hamas Leader: We Have Israel 'Right Where We Want Them'
Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas in Gaza, in a 2022 file photo.   (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

The Wall Street Journal has obtained dozens of text messages sent by the Hamas military leader in Gaza, and they reveal what the newspaper describes as a "cold disregard for human life" on the part of Yahya Sinwar.

  • He calls civilian deaths "necessary sacrifices" in the context of national-liberation battles. An estimated 37,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the war began.
  • "We have the Israelis right where we want them," Sinwar wrote in a recent message. His view is that Israel has more to lose than Hamas the longer the fighting and civilian deaths continue.

  • Sinwar, however, suggested that the Oct. 7 raid by Hamas militants was more violent than he envisioned. "Things went out of control," he wrote, an apparent reference to the abductions of children and women. "People got caught up in this, and that should not have happened."
  • Read the full story, which puts the text messages in the context of the lifelong fight of Sinwar, in his early 60s, against Israel. He has long "stuck to a simple playbook," write Summer Said and Rory Jones. "Backed into a corner, he looks to violence for a way out. The current fight in Gaza is no exception." It also suggests a rift has emerged between Sinwar and the political leadership of Hamas.
(More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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