Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a message to Hamas terrorists who are still fighting the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), hiding underground, or holding Israeli hostages: surrender — now.
In a statement, Netanyahu said that the remaining holdouts should not die for the sake of Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza:
In the past few days, dozens of Hamas terrorists have surrendered to our forces. They are laying down their weapons and turning themselves in to our heroic soldiers.
This will take time. The war is still ongoing but it is the beginning of the end of Hamas.
I say to the Hamas terrorists: It’s over. Don’t die for Sinwar. Surrender – now!
Israel also released a video of a former Hamas communications minister Yousef al-Mansi blaming Sinwar for the war as the Times of Israel noted:
“I have not seen anyone in the Gaza Strip who supports Sinwar, nobody likes Sinwar. There are people who, day and night, pray that God will free us from him,” he says.
Al-Mansi says Sinwar has “delusions of grandeur,” and that he “feels like he is above everyone else. Acts only as he thinks. He makes decisions without consulting anyone.”
The former Hamas minister says the October 7 attacks are “the opposite of Islam.”
Israel said on Friday that large numbers of Hamas terrorists have been surrendering, amid the emergence of photos and videos of mass arrests of men who had stripped to their underwear. One video showed a man putting down a rifle atop a pile of other weapons.
Israel’s Army Radio said that a significant proportion — 40 of 100 — of those arrested in at least one location, in Khan Younis were terrorists. The rest were found to be civilians and were released.
On Sunday, IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said that the photos and videos had been unauthorized, amid controversy over their circulation. He said that the practice of ordering detainees to strip was to avoid the risk of explosive suicide belts, common among Palestinian terrorists.
National security minister Tzachi Hanegbi gave a slightly different version of events, according to the Times of Israel, saying that the photographs had been taken with the permission of the military, but he added that they would be stopped.
Hagari also said that Israel would punish any misbehavior by soldiers, after video emerged of a soldier vandalizing a store in Gaza.
On the northern front, tensions continued to rise between Israel and Hezollah in southern Lebanon. Six Israeli soldiers were wounded by a Hezbollah drone that was not shot down by the Iron Dome system, and Israel struck several Hezbollah positions.
Israel has maintained a policy of not firing at Hezbollah until fired upon; it is indisputable that Hezbollah fired the first shot between the two sides, and also that it is violating United Nations Security Council Resolution 1707, which bars it from the territory south of the Litani River to the border with Israel.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.