Hamas Leader Expects Global Pressure on Israel as Civilian Casualties Rise

By Yoni Weiss

Palestinians burn tires during a protest against Hamas in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Wednesday. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar has reportedly informed fellow Hamas officials during ceasefire talks in Qatar that the increasing civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip will escalate global pressure on Israel to cease its military actions against the terrorist group, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The growing humanitarian crisis and destruction in Gaza are putting a strain on Israel’s relations with the U.S. and other global partners. According to the report, Sinwar, who is currently in hiding, expressed the intention to emerge after the war ends and declare victory.

Sinwar highlighted the impact of recent events, stating, “We brought the Palestinian cause to the forefront. We have changed the status quo,” referencing the deadly onslaught on southern Israeli communities on Oct. 7. The change in tactics by Hamas involves smaller squads using rocket-propelled grenades to attack Israeli troops, avoiding direct gunfights and reducing casualties on their side. However, this strategy has proven less effective in causing casualties among Israeli forces.

The civilian population in Gaza has borne the brunt of the conflict, while Israeli officials estimate the death toll of terrorists, including 1,000 killed on Oct. 7, to be around 12,000. Hamas leaders outside Gaza have acknowledged the loss of 6,000 terrorists. The U.S. estimates the actual number of casualties to be somewhere between these figures. Additionally, Hamas has used recordings of hostages, including children, to lure Israeli troops into ambushes, creating a challenging situation for the IDF.

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