Hamas terror leader Yahya Sinwar addressed Israeli hostages held underground in Gaza following their October 7 abduction amid the group’s assault on Israel, as reported by Hebrew-language media on Monday.
According to Channel 12 news, Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, reassured the hostages in fluent Hebrew within a tunnel shortly after the attack. The meeting occurred after the October 7 assault, during which Hamas terrorists killed around 1,200 people and took over 240 hostages.
The report stated that Sinwar said, “Hello, I am Yahya Sinwar. You are the most protected here. Nothing will happen to you,” as recounted by one of the hostages. The incident was reported to family members and security officials, who confirmed the story.
Yahya Sinwar, believed to have planned and authorized the October 7 attack, learned Hebrew while in an Israeli prison after being convicted in 1989 for leading the abduction and murder of two Israeli soldiers and four Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel. Despite receiving four life sentences, he was released in 2011 as part of the deal for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Betty Lahat, former warden of Hasharon Prison and head of the Israel Prison Service’s Intelligence Department, noted that Sinwar used his time in jail to gain insights into Israeli society, describing him as knowledgeable.
Known for his fiery rhetoric and support for terror attacks, Sinwar took over as the leader of Hamas in Gaza in 2017, succeeding Ismail Haniyeh.