Updated February 19th, 2024 at 10:17 IST

Hamas Mulling to Replace Sinwar After Khan Younis Brigade Defeated: Gallant

Hamas’s Khan Younis Brigade had been “defeated and does not function as a military entity in any way,” Gallant said.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Israel Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant. | Image:AP
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Hamas is looking to replace its leadership abroad after facing defeats in the war torn Khan Younis in the southern region, Israel’s defense minister said on Sunday. Hamas is mulling to replace Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar, as the terror group’s battalions in Khan Younis has been dismantled, said Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant during a press conference, according to Times of Israel.

Hamas’s Khan Younis Brigade had been “defeated and does not function as a military entity in any way,” Gallant said. 

“Hamas is left with marginal [forces] in the central camps and with the Rafah Brigade, and what stands between them and a complete collapse as a military system is a decision by the IDF,” Gallant added.

‘Hamas does not trust its commanders’: Gallant

The decision is being made as Israel’s offensive in Rafah looms, said Gallant. He continued that the Israeli security forces are yet to get their hands on Sinwar, or Hamas’s military commander Mohammad Deif and his deputy Marwan Issa. “Hamas does not trust its commanders — this is a very, very noticeable thing,” Gallant said. He made the remarks after holding a meeting with the Israel Defense Forces’ Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yaron Finkelman, the paper reported.

“Hamas-Gaza is MIA, there is no one to talk to among leadership on the ground,” Gallant reportedly said. He added that Hamas leadership “was looking for new leaders in Gaza” abroad.  “That means there is a tender [in Hamas] for who will run Gaza,” Israeli Defense Minister said. Earlier, the IDF stated that at least 200 terror suspects surrendered at the largest hospital in Gaza, Nasser, while several others surrendered to Israeli forces in Al-Amal Hospital. “People armed with RPGs, weapons, and guns came to the moment of truth and did not fight. This indicates something of their understanding of the power differential, that they understood their fate was to surrender or die — there is no third option,” Israel’s Defense Minister said.

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Israel, last week, also formalised its opposition to the establishment of the Palestinian State, as it opposed the “unilateral recognition” of declaring the Palestinian statehood. Israel argued that any such decision can only be reached via the direct negotiations between all parties. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conduced a vote for the “declaratory decision” for the establishment of the Palestinian state, the motion was approved unanimously, as per a statement. During the start of the weekly meeting, Netanyahu said that Israel opposes the “recent talk in the international community about an attempt to unilaterally impose on Israel a Palestinian state.”

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Published February 19th, 2024 at 10:17 IST