Hamas leader in Gaza and the terrorist mastermind behind the terror attack on October 7, Yahya Sinwar, met with Israeli hostages taken to a tunnel in the Gaza Strip, Israeli journalist Amit Segal reported on Monday.
According to the report, one of the captives recounted that in the early days of the war, she and other hostages were taken to Khan Yunis in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. After about an hour's walk, they entered a tunnel where they walked for almost two more hours until reaching a large hall. She further disclosed that on the same day, they noticed the presence of Hamas terrorists accompanying them. Sinwar then entered, showing interest in their identities.
After calming them, he assured them that nothing would happen to them and that they were secure in that place. He introduced himself, saying in Hebrew, "Hello, I am Yahya Sinwar. You are the safest here. Nothing will happen to you." After these brief words, he departed.
The story was checked out by the authorities who investigated the Israeli hostage. Sinwar, who acquired his fluent Hebrew skills during his time in Israeli prison, played a pivotal role in the exchange process.
Released in a negotiated deal, Sinwar is considered one of the most senior figures in the group of prisoners who returned to Gaza in 2011. Since 2017, he has been the head of Hamas in Gaza, succeeding Ismail Haniyeh, and is leading an aggressive stance against Israel.
In the negotiation for the release of the captives, Sinwar manages contacts through Qatar, and the assessment is that he aims to stretch the duration of the truce as much as possible. His goal is to organize and withstand the imminent challenges of both the underground turmoil and potential Israeli offensives. According to Israeli officials' estimates, he is often found alongside other high-ranking Hamas officials in tunnels or subterranean bunkers in the southern part of the Strip.