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Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region

Yahya Sinwar’s Exorbitant Demands

Filed under: Hamas, Operation Swords of Iron

Yahya Sinwar’s Exorbitant Demands
Sinwar on a bus on his way to Gaza after his release in the Shalit deal in 2011.

Israel is currently grappling with the consequences of neglecting the malignant growth of Hamas in the Gaza Strip over the years, allowing it to evolve into a potent and lethal terrorist entity.

Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, is using hostages to subdue Israel. It is imperative that Israel resists surrender and takes decisive action to eliminate Sinwar and dismantle the military infrastructure of Hamas.

The ongoing struggle between Israel and the terrorist organization Hamas has garnered attention throughout the Middle East.

The conflict escalated with a surprise attack by Hamas on settlements surrounding Gaza on October 7, resulting in a brutal massacre of Israeli civilians and soldiers.

While Israel is a formidable nation, it permitted the unchecked growth of Hamas since its takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007. The failure to prevent the establishment of a well-equipped army, complete with rockets, drones, and an extensive tunnel system, has compounded the challenge.

The influx of hundreds of millions of dollars from Qatar further fortified Hamas.

The gravest errors of the Israeli political and security echelon, driven by a desire to “buy silence,” allowed the terror monster in Gaza to metastasize to unprecedented proportions.

This monster, aiming to eliminate the State of Israel, now holds 136 Israeli hostages and bodies in tunnels in the Gaza Strip.

Yahya Sinwar, the mastermind behind the October 7 massacre, understands Israel’s vulnerabilities, particularly its sensitivity to prisoners and willingness to pay a high price for their release.

Exploiting this, he seeks to replicate the 2011 “Shalit deal,” where Israel released over a thousand terrorists, setting a dangerous precedent.

Having been released himself in the “Shalit deal,” Sinwar now attempts to subdue Israel through mafia-style extortion and psychological terror.

His demands include an end to the war, Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, and the release of several thousand security prisoners, including approximately 400 murderers.

Sinwar’s plan involves releasing only some of the Israeli hostages.

After an IDF withdrawal from Gaza, he aims to secure international guarantees for Hamas to remain in power, lift the Israeli blockade, and establish a port in Gaza.

Israel must not succumb to Sinwar’s blackmail and deceit. The political echelon must consider the broader implications for Israel’s security position and continue the fight in Gaza until Hamas’s military infrastructure is destroyed and its leadership eliminated. Giving in to Sinwar’s tactics would be a strategic failure for Israel.

The IDF must maintain the momentum and defeat Hamas militarily. Israel cannot establish a dangerous precedent, allowing enemies to think they can blackmail the state and force security concessions.

The military pressure on Hamas remains Israel’s most effective tool to secure the release of the abductees.