Israel strikes house of Hamas political chief in Gaza, says army

In this file photo taken on March 10, 2021, Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas’s political wing in Gaza, visits the house of fellow Hamas leader Nizar Awadallah (unseen) in Gaza City, upon his re-election as the head of the Islamist movement’s de facto leader in the Israeli-blockaded Palestinian enclave. — AFP pic
In this file photo taken on March 10, 2021, Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas’s political wing in Gaza, visits the house of fellow Hamas leader Nizar Awadallah (unseen) in Gaza City, upon his re-election as the head of the Islamist movement’s de facto leader in the Israeli-blockaded Palestinian enclave. — AFP pic

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GAZA CITY (Palestinian Territories), May 16 — Israeli air strikes hit the home of Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas’ political wing in the Gaza Strip, the army said today, but without saying if he was killed.

“Among the targets struck are the residences of Yahya Sinwar, Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau in Gaza, as well as of his brother, Muhammad Sinwar, Head of Logistics and Manpower for Hamas,” Israel’s army said in a statement, releasing a video showing plumes of smoke and intense damage.

“Both residences served as military infrastructure for the Hamas terror organisation.”

Witnesses confirmed to AFP a strike had hit Sinwar’s house.

Sinwar, a former commander of Hamas’s military branch, served more than two decades in an Israeli jail before he was released in 2011 as a part of a prisoner exchange.

First elected as the head of Hamas’s political wing in Gaza in 2017, he was re-elected in March, extending his tenure as the Islamist movement’s de facto leader in the Israeli-blockaded Palestinian enclave.

Hamas overall chief Ismail Haniyeh is currently based in Qatar.

The army said it had also carried out strikes targeting Hamas tunnel systems.

As of 07:00 am (0400 GMT) today, Israel’s army said that Palestinians in Gaza had fired some 2,900 rockets towards Israel.

The army said 450 rockets fell short inside Gaza, while Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system has intercepted approximately 1,150 rockets. — AFP

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