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Yahya Sinwar decided to launch October 7 attack alone, angering Hamas leaders – report

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Yahya Sinwar, Hamas chief in Gaza, has been the object of criticism within the Hamas leadership for launching the October 7 attack without prior consultation with other Hamas leaders, according to a Sky News Arabia report on Tuesday. 

According to sources who spoke with the news outlet, those who made the decision to attack were Sinwar, along with his brother Muhammad Sinwar, Muhammad Deif, Hamas military chief, and Marwan Issa, Hamas’s Deputy Military Commander. The four had not consulted the rest of the Hamas leadership and its political bureau, who were ignorant of the decision.

A-Sharq el-Awsat’s January report

A report published by a-Sharq el-Awsat in January, based on Palestinian sources close to the al-Qassam Brigades, claimed that the decision to attack was made solely by five Hamas leaders, among whom were Sinwar, Sinwar’s brother, Deif, Rouhi Mushtaha, a Hamas official close associate of Sinwar and  Ayman Nofal, close to Deif and previous leader of the al-Qassam Brigades’ intelligence. 

Interestingly, in the January report, Issa was not included in the close list of confidants. 

Hamas Gaza Chief Yahya Sinwar (L) gestures as he speaks with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh at the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip September 19, 2017 (credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)

In addition, the report stated that the decision to attack and its timing were taken only on October 6, a day prior to October 7.  

To ensure secrecy, many of Hamas’s field commanders were not made privy to the specific details of the attack while leaders of the al-Qassam Brigade units received information concerning the attack some three days before. 

According to the a-Sharq el-Awsat report, only a few hours prior to the attack did details concerning the attack pervade to a larger circle of Hamas leaders, among whom were Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Hamas’s political bureau and Saleh Arouri, a senior Hamas leader.

Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this article. 

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