Israel releases unverified video of 'Sinwar in Gaza tunnels'

Israel releases unverified video of 'Sinwar in Gaza tunnels'
The Israeli army claims it has found evidence of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in Gaza tunnels, but the video has not been verified independently.
2 min read
14 February, 2024
Yahya Sinwar, head of the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip, waves his hand to the crowd during the celebration of International Quds Day in Gaza City in 2014. (Photo by Yousef Masoud/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Israeli army released a video purportedly showing Hamas military leader Yahya Sinwar walking through a tunnel under Khan Younis, in southern Gaza.

Shot in a dark tunnel, the video shows what appears to be a woman wearing a headscarf, seen from behind. She is followed by three young children and then a man carrying a briefcase, whom the Israeli army claims is Sinwar - its number one target. The Israeli claim is difficult to verify given the camera angle.

The Israeli military's Daniel Hagari claimed the footage was captured from CCTV cameras in the tunnel on 10 October, and recently obtained by Israel.

The video could not be verified independently by media outlets and the Israeli army could not provide other evidence to substantiate its claim. 

Israel has claimed on multiple occasions that Hamas leaders were hiding in tunnels around the Gaza Strip, which was used as a pretext to raid hospitals and bomb civilian infrastructure.

Sinwar is a longtime Hamas leader who assembled the group’s military wing and in 2017 was elected political leader of Hamas in Gaza. He was listed by the US as a terrorist in 2015 and was recently sanctioned by the UK and France.

The Israeli army accuses Sinwar of being the mastermind behind Hamas's 7 October attacks on Israeli territory, which led to the killing of around 1,100 people and saw around 200 people taken hostage.

Sinwar has since become Israel’s "most wanted man" in Gaza, but the Israeli offensive has failed to capture him.

Israel launched its war on Gaza in November in response to the 7 October attacks and to "destroy Hamas’ capabilities". 

The brutal onslaught has not reached its stated objectives, with at least 28,340 people killed, including over 12,000 children while at least 1.7 million people have been displaced from their homes according to the UN.