Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Terrorist Supreme Among Terrorists

"He had the status of prisoner number one. He came by this honestly."
"Hamas is undergoing changes, as can be seen by his very election, because he is very extreme."
"He will do all he can to carry out terror attacks. He is someone with whom it will be very difficult to reach any sort of understandings."
Yaron Blum, former senior official, Israeli intelligence, Shin Bet
Yehiya Sinwar, seen here during a 2011 rally in southern Gaza Strip, helped found the military wing of Hamas, which controls thousands of fighters and a vast arsenal of rockets and has battled Israel in three wars since Hamas seized Gaza a decade ago.
Yehiya Sinwar, seen here during a 2011 rally in southern Gaza Strip, helped found the military wing of Hamas, which controls thousands of fighters and a vast arsenal of rockets and has battled Israel in three wars since Hamas seized Gaza a decade ago. (Adel Hana/Associated Press)

Freed by Israel in a 2011 prisoner swap that saw over 1,000 prisoners released from Israeli jails where they had been institutionalized after being found guilty of crimes ranging from mass murder attacks to plotting against Israel and the commission of civil criminal acts, in exchange for one lone Israeli soldier who had been abducted and held in captivity for years, this dedicated jihadist terrorist now hauls Hamas another rung up the ladder of vicious jihad to match Islamic State in lust for bloodshed in conquest.

For his crimes, he had spent two decades in the Israeli penal system, depriving Hamas of his considerable talents and ravaging hatred for Israel. Yehiya Sinwar is the very personification of unremitting dedication to the destruction of the Jewish State. Those two words alone are enough to send him into a rictus of hatred that can only be relieved through the commission of deadly acts of violence. In his appointment to head the terrorist group Hamas, the decision has been made to hand over leadership from its political 'wing' to its armed 'wing'.

Israelis have died through the commission of suicide bombings, shootings and artillery attacks courtesy of Hamas operatives who like worms dedicated to savagery, continue to burrow deep underground in the construction of intersecting tunnels hiving their way under Gaza to penetrate Israel's borders. The passage of the terrorists overland has been compromised by separating walls and the presence of the military, so the option of underground tunnels has monopolized time, effort and building materials.

Sinwar presents as a formidable challenge. According to Yaron Blum, the man is charismatic, ensuring his popularity among Palestinians in Gaza and within Hamas. He is understood to be somewhat of an anomaly, unlike his Fatah counterparts in the West Bank, as a non-corruptible ideologue. A true believer in the existential struggle against the Israeli presence, he is a man dedicated to violent action, one who speaks the language of his elected enemy; fluently capable of Hebrew expression.

"It was understandable that Sinwar was elected; he was one of the Hamas founders. He is one of the Hamas leaders who has been pushing for keeping and reforming relations with Iran. He is one of the main supporters of Hamas and its military wing", observed Ibrahim Madhoun, columnist at al-Ressalah, the newspaper affiliated with Hamas, a militant group which Canada, the United States and the European Union recognizes as a terrorist entity.

He has close ties to Qatar and Turkey in reflection of their good relations with Hamas, as well as with Iran, a long-time backer.

His domineering personality ensured that while in the Israeli penal system he commanded the respect and allegiance of the other Palestinian prisoners. In his mid-50s now, Sinwar represents the replacement of Ismail Haniyeh who has led Hamas since its take-over of Gaza in 2007. Haniyeh too is moving on to bigger and improved station within Hamas, said to be replacing Khaled Mashaal as Hamas' supreme leader.

This is a man who outright rejects any conceivable reconciliation with Israel. Once released from prison, he was feted, as is normal for all Palestinians who have chosen the path of 'resistance' to the enemy, released to resume their former preoccupation with destroying the enemy. It took him little time to reassert his place in the power structure of Hamas, on return to Gaza. He is ruthless as befits a man in charge, having been the one responsible for the assassination of another elite Hamas commander, ending an internal power struggle.

Sinar's brother, incidentally is a senior commander of the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing. The very notion of separate 'wings' of Hamas, one dedicated to political action, the other to violent terrorism is a Western fiction, one that Haniyeh has scoffed at himself. But the military faction which echoes the political, will now have greater emphasis and visibility under Hamas's new leader. Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades has at its disposal thousands of fighters along with a huge arsenal of rockets.

A former head of the Palestinian Desk at Israel's Ministry for Strategic Affairs, Kobi Michael, has stated that Sinwar represents "One of the most radical and extreme lines of Hamas", with a focus on building on the group's military capacity. "The idea that he was elected is a very dangerous and concerning indication of the destabilization of the region", commented Mr. Michael, tellingly.

As a somewhat sinister note to the character of the man, he led the terrorist group's first security apparatus for 23 years, and was, as a result, responsible for the process of tracking and killing Palestinians who were suspected and accused of collaboration with Israel.

Sinwar, right, is set to replace Ismail Haniyeh as leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip [Said Khatib/AFP]

Labels: , , ,

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Follow @rheytah Tweet