Yahya Sinwar is Acting According to Directives from Tehran

Iran opposes a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the hostage deal, and Yahya Sinwar complies with this policy. Sinwar attributes the resignation of Ministers Gantz and Eisenkot from the government to his strategy and is convinced that the Netanyahu government will soon collapse.

Expectations should be lowered for the visit of US Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who arrived this week on a tour of several Middle Eastern countries to promote a ceasefire agreement and the release of Israeli hostages.

Hamas is not likely to change its position on this issue, as a senior Hamas official, Ghazi Hamad, an associate of Yahya Sinwar, made clear in an interview with the “Al-Arabi Al-Jadid” newspaper.

Ghazi Hamad stated that until this moment, there is no clear and decisive Israeli position indicating readiness for a permanent ceasefire.

“This is what we demand from the mediators: only if there is a cessation of the war and a complete withdrawal of IDF forces from the Strip will we be ready to resume negotiations. We will not budge from this position,” stressed Hamad.

Sources in the Gaza Strip familiar with Yahya Sinwar’s stance claim that the Iranian position greatly influences Sinwar’s views on the hostage deal.

Iran aims to sabotage the normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, similar to its actions before the war.

This objective was a significant factor behind the surprise Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, which succeeded in delaying the signing of the agreement.

Iran seeks to disrupt President Biden’s three-phase plan, which includes the release of hostages and a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, leading to a ceasefire on the northern border and eventually the signing of a normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

This plan aims to establish a new moderate axis in the Middle East, challenging Iran’s regional hegemony.

The supreme leader of Iran recently emphasized that the region needed the October 7 attack on Israeli settlements near Gaza to halt the normalization process, declaring, “no to the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.”

The prevailing assessment in the Gaza Strip is that the successful “Arnon” operation to free the four Israeli hostages will not alter Yahya Sinwar’s stance on the hostage deal. Sinwar will adhere to the directives of Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.

Iran currently dictates regional policy, and Hamas relies on its support to maintain control in the Gaza Strip; therefore, it will not yield to Israeli demands.

Iran is determined to thwart President Biden’s normalization plan with Saudi Arabia and exhaust Israel in a prolonged conflict, resulting in further casualties among Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip.

This aligns with Yahya Sinwar’s strategy of waging a war of attrition against Israel.

Yahya Sinwar is indifferent to the plight of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, as is Iran.

Hamas sources indicate that Sinwar is unconcerned about the release of the four hostages in the special IDF operation.

He believes international pressure on Israel to halt the war will increase. He attributes the resignations of ministers Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot to his war strategy and is confident that the Netanyahu government will soon collapse.

Hundreds of Hamas supporters in the Gaza Strip were seen celebrating next to television screens during Minister Benny Gantz’s resignation speech on Tuesday.

The military wing of Hamas encourages demonstrations in Israeli streets through video clips of the Israeli hostages, which include dictated messages urging continued protests against the government to push for Netanyahu’s ouster.

Yahya Sinwar’s working assumption is that he will succeed in inciting unrest in Israel, leading to early elections.

He believes that a new government led by Benny Gantz or Yair Lapid will stop the war and meet Hamas’s demands to secure the release of all hostages.

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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