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Israel strikes house of Hamas political chief in Gaza Strip

Yahya Sinwar has been Hamas’ de facto leader in the besieged Palestinian enclave since 2017, replacing former ruler Ismail Haniyeh.

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Israeli air strikes have hit the home of Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas’ political wing in the Gaza Strip, the army said on Sunday, without confirming Sinwar’s condition.

“Among the targets struck are the residences of Yahya Sinwar, the Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau in Gaza, as well as the home of Yahya Sinwar’s brother, Muhammad Sinwar, the Head of Logistics and Manpower for Hamas,” Israel’s army said in a statement, releasing a video showing plumes of smoke and intense damage.

“Both residences served as military infrastructure for the Hamas terror organization,” the statement held.

Witnesses confirmed to AFP that a strike had hit Sinwar’s house. Sinwar, who was also the former commander of Hamas’ military branch, served more than two decades in an Israeli jail before he was released in 2011 as a part of a prisoner exchange.

First elected as the head of Hamas’ political wing in Gaza in 2017, he was re-elected in March, extending his tenure as the movement’s de facto leader in the Israeli-besieged Palestinian enclave.

For the past week, Hamas and Israel have been in conflict with both sides exchanging rocket fire. As of Sunday, it has been reported that the death toll in Gaza has reached 181 as a result of Israeli attacks towards the center of Gaza city.

The conflict has stemmed from various actions of Israel towards Palestinians during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, including the use of force by Israeli police against Palestinian worshippers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the forceful eviction of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem.

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