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Hamas leader al-Sinwar not in Rafah as Israeli army claims: Reports

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Tel Aviv, May 11: Hamas leader Yahya al-Sinwar, is not hiding in Rafah in southern Gaza, contrary to previous assumptions, according to Israeli media report.

That’s according to two officials familiar with the matter who spoke to the Times of Israel newspaper on Friday night. The officials were unable to say with certainty where al-Sinwar is currently located.

However, according to the latest intelligence estimates, the Hamas leader is believed to be hiding in underground tunnels in the Khan Younis area, around eight kilometres north of Rafah. Israel’s army withdrew from Khan Younis a month ago.

At the beginning of the week, it advanced to the eastern outskirts of Rafah.

Israel had made it an objective of its war in the Gaza Strip to capture or kill al-Sinwar and his deputy Mohammed Deif. In March, the army confirmed the killing of the third most senior Hamas leader in Gaza, Marwan Issa, in an airstrike.

The number one and two, al-Sinwar and Deif, however, could not be found, the newspaper wrote: “Despite repeated claims by Israeli officials that the army was hot on their heels.”

Al-Sinwar is considered a key planner of the massacre in Israel on October 7 last year. In the attacks, Palestinian militants killed around 1,200 Israelis and took more than 200 hostages to Gaza.

IANS

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