Hamas Escape: How Netanyahu Had The Chance To Kill Yahya Sinwar Six Times

By JPost
Posted on 11/28/23 | News Source: JPost

An operational plan to eliminate the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, has been presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at least six times in recent years. This information has been gathered through conversations with numerous senior figures in the security establishment, both past and present.

This wasn't merely a theoretical proposal but a well-thought-out and actionable plan that could be put into motion at any given moment. Notably, Sinwar doesn't spend most of his time in hiding; he maintains a visible presence and doesn't move between secret apartments or bunkers, unlike Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who has followed such practices since 2006.

From Netanyahu's perspective, this information is of the utmost secrecy.

The plan to eliminate Sinwar was put forward to Netanyahu by the three most recent heads of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) during their respective tenures: Yoram Cohen, Nadav Argaman, and the current head, Ronen Bar.

This plan was highly detailed and included various contingency scenarios, making it capable of targeting any senior Hamas figure in Gaza, not just Sinwar. It resembled operations like Operation Orchard (an Israeli airstrike on a suspected nuclear reactor in Syria) or Operation Bramble (an Israeli plan to assassinate Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in 1992) during the First Lebanon War.

Former Shin Bet head Cohen had previously revealed in the Meet the Press program that the agency had recommended conducting an "airlift" operation targeting all of Hamas's leaders in Gaza. He even mentioned that he and his successors continued to propose this to senior government officials. The Shin Bet viewed Hamas as a terrorist organization that needed to be neutralized due to the significant threat posed by its agenda. However, as mentioned earlier, Netanyahu rejected all of these operational opportunities.

In addition, in the past year, Hamas has doubled the strength of its elite Nukhba commando unit. This involved doubling the size of the commando force intended for infiltrations into Israel, which was accomplished within one year. Israel was aware of this development, but it did not trigger any immediate action.