Saudi report says Sinwar escaped gaza to Egypt, Israel denies

Saudi news site Elaph cites unnamed Israeli security sources who claim that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar used the extensive tunnel system running between Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula to flee the Israeli manhunt and that he took some Israeli hostages with him; A senior Israeli security official denied the report, saying that there is no intelligence to back it up.

Israeli security sources believe that senior Hamas leaders and commanders, including Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, and his brother Mohammed, recently escaped to Egypt through tunnels in the Rafah area of Gaza, the Saudi online publication Elaph reported on Tuesday. The report has not been verified by any other source.
Hours after the report surfaced, a senior Israeli security official denied the report, saying that there is no intelligence to back it up.
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The Saudi media outlet also reported that the Israeli defense establishment has expressed concerns about the possibility that Hamas leaders escaping to Egypt took Israeli hostages with them. Additionally, an Israeli senior official reportedly said that Israel has been closely monitoring eight significant tunnels between Gaza and Egypt in recent years which are capable of accommodating small vehicles.
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יחיא סינוואר
יחיא סינוואר
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar
(Photo: EPA)
The same report suggests that Israeli officials, without independent verification, have stated that Hamas has been using these tunnels to smuggle various items such as weapons, missiles, explosives and Iranian technologies. Additionally, the tunnels have allegedly been used to send terrorists for training in Iran and Lebanon.
Elaph, the publication that released this report, is a Saudi-based website located in London. It has previously published opinion columns written by Israeli officials, conducted interviews with them, and featured articles based on information provided by "Israeli sources."

Hunting down Sinwar continues as planned

One week ago, the IDF spokesperson released video recorded on a security camera showing the Sinwar walking underground through a tunnel during a ground incursion. The footage revealed that Sinwar, along with his brother Ibrahim Sinwar, one of his wives, and his children, was present in Khan Younis three days after the start of the war.
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דובר צה"ל מציג את התיעוד של סינוואר
דובר צה"ל מציג את התיעוד של סינוואר
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and his family walk through a tunnel under Khan Younis
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Following the release of this footage, senior officials in Israel said that other Gaza terrorists were filmed in Hamas tunnels, and that there are additional videos of the Gaza terrorist organization leader, some of which are more recent. These recordings also show him inside tunnels, although in one of them, he is seen without his family.
In recent weeks, there have been claims in Israel that Sinwar is disconnected from the Hamas leadership outside the Gaza Strip. This suggests that he is not directly involved in the negotiations for a new hostage-for-prisoner exchange.
According to senior Israeli officials, Sinwar is constantly on the move, scurrying about "from cave to cave" in a manner reminiscent of a mouse. He is known for his elusive nature, frequently changing locations in a frantic manner. It is believed that the only factor that could lead to a potential deal involving Sinwar is the genuine fear that he could be killed at any moment, with only a deal serving as a means of saving him.
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