Israel puts $400,000 bounty on head of Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar

Military drops pamphlets offering cash rewards for the capture of Sinwar and other commanders of the militant group

Israel puts $400,000 bounty on head of Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar

Israel puts $400,000 bounty on head of Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar
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Israel has reportedly placed a bounty of $400,000 on the head of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.

The Israeli military dropped leaflets in the Gaza Strip offering cash rewards for information leading to the capture of Mr Sinwar and other commanders of the Palestinian militant group.

Mr Sinwar is believed to be behind the planning of the October 7 attack on Israel that led to the massacre of more than 1,200 Israelis.

Images of the pamphlets circulated on social media on Thursday but could not be independently verified.

They showed an Israeli military telephone number and a contact on the Telegram messaging app, accompanied by a promise to protect the identities of informants.

The Israeli army has dropped leaflets into Gaza several times during the war, instructing residents to move to safe areas.

Israel’s military has swept deep into the Palestinian enclave in a campaign to crush Hamas and eliminate its leadership.

While it says it has killed or captured thousands of Hamas fighters, the group's top leaders are still at large.

The pamphlets also offer $300,000 for information on Mr Sinwar's brother Muhammed, who commands the southern brigade, $200,000 for Rafaa Salameh, commander of the Khan Younis battalion, and $100,000 for Muhammad Deif, the commander of the group's military wing.

Mr Deif has survived repeated assassination attempts.

A senior Biden administration official said on Thursday that the US would make sure justice is served.

“I think it’s safe to say his [Mr Sinwar's] days are numbered,” the official said, during a call to discuss National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan’s trip to Israel and Palestine.

"He has American blood on his hands. Thirty-eight Americans were killed on October 7, and he is still holding a number of American hostages

“So, it doesn’t matter how long it takes, but justice will be served.”

Internet outage 'a crime'

As the war entered its 70th day, Israeli shelling continued across Gaza, focused on Khan Younis city, as violence on the ground between Israeli soldiers and Hamas fighters continued in the north and south.

The death toll rose to about 18,800 Palestinians, Gaza’s Ministry of health said. The number of injured passed 50,000, 70 per cent women and children, it said.

Most hospitals and health centres in the besieged enclave were out of action either because of the shelling or a lack of fuel. The ministry has appealed to international groups to build field hospitals in northern Gaza.

Israel has cut internet and phone services in Gaza for the fifth time, a course of action described by Hamas as a crime that threatens the lives of those injured who cannot contact people to ask for help.

Al Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Obaida said on Thursday evening that over the previous 72 hours, its fighters had destroyed 72 Israeli military vehicles “in whole or in part”.

He said 36 Israeli soldiers had been killed and several wounded, with equipment and belongings seized.

Updated: December 15, 2023, 10:56 AM