Israel releases video apparently showing Hamas leader Sinwar in tunnel

The Israeli military has released a video that it says shows Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in an underground tunnel just days after the deadly Oct. 7 attacks on southern Israel.

“Spotted: Yahya Sinwar running away and hiding in his underground terrorist tunnel network as Gazan civilians suffer above ground under the rule of Hamas terrorism. There is no tunnel deep enough for him to hide in,” Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

The post included a video of who the IDF says is Sinwar, the Hamas leader believed to be responsible for the Oct. 7 attack, following his family members through the tunnel. The military said the video was taken underneath Khan Younis days after the attack.

The video shows the man the IDF identified as Sinwar walking from the back, with his wife and three of his children in front of him, IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari confirmed in a press briefing. The face of man identified as Sinwar was not clear and The Associated Press noted that the IDF’s claims could not be independently verified.

Hagari also vowed to continue the hunt for Sinwar until the military captures him.

The Israeli military has been targeting Sinwar since the Oct. 7 attack that killed about 1,200 people and resulted in about 250 people captured by Hamas militants. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed in December that Israeli forces had encircled Sinwar’s house in Khan Younis, saying at the time that “it’s only a matter of time before we get him,” according to The Associated Press.

Sinwar was born in a refugee camp in Khan Younis in 1962 and later became an early member of militant group Hamas, according to the AP. He learned fluent Hebrew by spending years in Israeli prisons, where he emerged as a leader of other inprisoned Hamas members, AP noted.

The AP reported he was later released by Netanyahu along with 1,000 other prisoners in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit in 2011 — a move that Netanyahu faced widespread criticism for.

The Associated Press contributed.

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