Hamas leader's days are NUMBERED, White House warns

Hamas leader’s days are NUMBERED, White House warns: Top Biden official says ‘justice will come’ to Yahya Sinwar because he has ‘American blood on his hands’ and is holding hostages

  • Yahya Sinwar has been the head of the Hamas terror group in Gaza since 2017 
  • He is believed to be hiding underground in a concrete bunker in Khan Yunis
  • He spent decades as a prisoner of Israel before being released in a prisoner swap

    By Rob Crilly, Senior U.S. Political Reporter For Dailymail.Com



    A senior U.S. administration official served warning to the head of Hamas Yahya Sinwar on Thursday evening: Your days are numbered.

    It did not matter how long it took, the official added, but justice would be served.

    It came soon after Israel dropped leaflets on the Palestinian enclave of Gaza, offering a $400,000 reward for information about the whereabouts of the terror mastermind.

    ‘I think it’s safe to say his days are numbered,’ said the senior administration official.

    ‘I also think it’s safe to say it doesn’t matter how long that takes.’

    Yahya Sinwar, head of the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas, pictured in the Gaza Strip in May 2021. A senior administration official said: ‘His days are numbered’

    A Palestinian fighter from the armed wing of Hamas takes part in a military parade to mark the anniversary of the 2014 war with Israel, in the central Gaza Strip, earlier this year

    He added that 38 Americans were killed by Hamas terrorists on Oct 7 and that Americans were still being held hostage.

    ‘I remind you that he has American blood on his hands,’ the official told reporters on a briefing call. ‘So it doesn’t matter how long it takes, but justice will be served.’

    Israel pounded targets the length of Gaza on Thursday, as it continues its high-intensity bombing campaign.

    Sinwar fled his hideout in in the north of the enclave to Khan Yunis in southern Gaza as part of a humanitarian convoy soon after the war began, an Israeli source told KAN news. He is believed to be holed up in an underground bunker. 

    He took over the leadership of Hamas in Gaza in 2017, and since then has put to use information about Israel and Israelis that he learned during two decades as a prisoner. 

    He was one of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners freed for a single Israeli soldier in 2011, cementing in his mind the power of Israeli hostages. His group now holds 138 prisoners, which he believes can be used to bend the government of Israel to his will.

    During his time as a prisoner he learned Hebrew and watched local TV shows to better understand his enemy. 

    In the meantime, Washington is calling for Israel to scale back its war and do more to protect civilians.

    Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan discussed the issue during talks in Tel Aviv with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    Simwar spend more than two decades as a prisoner of Israel. He learned Hebrew and watched Israeli TV shows as part of an effort to understand his enemy better

    A senior Biden administration official reportedly demanded Thursday that Israel end its high intensity assault on Hamas in Gaza with weeks rather than months

    Joe Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan (left) met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) in Tel Aviv on Thursday

    ‘I want them to be focused on how to save civilian lives,’ said Biden. ‘Not stop going after Hamas, but to be more careful.’ 

    Netanyahu said the war would continue until Hamas was eliminated.

    ‘I told our American friends – our heroic fighters have not fallen in vain,’ he said, according to a statement from his office.

    ‘From the deep pain of their falling, we are more determined than ever to continue to fight until Hamas is eliminated – until absolute victory.’

    It comes amid reports of U.S. worries that the high-intensity bombing campaign makes it harder to secure the release of hostages. 

    Israel launched its attack on Oct. 7 in response to a devastating Hamas terrorist assault that killed 1,200 people.

    Since then, aid agencies have warned of a humanitarian catastrophe. 

    Hamas-controlled health agencies say 18,000 people have died in the siege and bombardment. 

    Vice President Kamala Harris has reportedly urged colleagues, including President Joe Biden, to be more publicly sympathetic to Palestinians in Gaza amid the Israeli bombardment

    The siege and bombardment of Gaza have killed more than 18,000 people, according to Hamas-controlled Palestinian health authorities

    A reservist jumps off an armored personnel carrier at a staging point near the Gaza border

    Israel kept up its heavy bombardment Thursday, pounding targets the length and breadth of Gaza. 

    At the White House, spokesman John Kirby was asked about Sullivan’s meeting with Netanyahu.

    ‘He did talk about possible transitioning from what we would call high-intensity operations, which is what we’re seeing them do now, to lower intensity operations sometime in the near future, but I don’t want to put a timestamp on it,’ he said.

    ‘I think you can understand that the last thing we’d want to do is telegraph to Hamas what they’re likely to face in coming weeks and months.’

    A senior administration official later explained that a low-intensity phase would focus on ‘high-value targets and intelligence driven raids.’

    ‘But we are not there yet,’ he added. 

    In Israel, cabinet minister Benny Gantz told reporters that the U.S. was not trying to dictate policy. 

    ‘I think the Americans are conducting with us a strategic and professional discourse that is appropriate and measured. They are not trying to dictate anything to us,’ he said. 

    Even so, the Biden administration’s stance has hardened in recent weeks.

    Biden has made much of his long friendship with Netanyahu, and aides have said he can have more influence over Israel by adopting a publicly supportive position.

    However, his key lieutenants delivered warnings earlier this month.

    Sullivan meets with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and aides in Tel Aviv

    Biden’s vice president used a speech in Dubai to issue the strongest demand yet that Israel abide by international humanitarian law.

    ‘Too many innocent Palestinians have been killed,’ Kamala Harris said. ‘Frankly, the scale of civilian suffering and the images and videos coming from Gaza are devastating.’

    On the same day, Biden’s defense secretary warned that Israel’s campaign could backfire by radicalizing a new generation of Hamas recruits.

    ‘In this kind of a fight, the center of gravity is the civilian population,’ said Lloyd Austin. ‘And if you drive them into the arms of the enemy, you replace a tactical victory with a strategic defeat.’

    And Biden himself delivered a public warning to his old friend on Tuesday that  

    ‘They’re starting to lose that support by indiscriminate bombing that takes place,’ he told a gathering of donors.’ 

    On Thursday, it also emerged that Harris has been urging Biden to take a tougher stance on Israel and speak up more for the civilians of Gaza. 

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