All Israel

US reportedly offers Israel sensitive intelligence on Hamas leaders’ location to prevent Rafah op

Reports indicate Sinwar may no longer be in Rafah

Yahya Sinwar, head of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, speaks during the celebration of International Quds Day in Gaza City, April 14, 2023. (Photo: Yousef Masoud / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

A report in the Washington Post claims that U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration has offered “sensitive intelligence” concerning the whereabouts of Hamas leaders and hidden tunnels in Gaza in exchange for Israel holding back from launching a major incursion into Rafah.

The Post cited four unnamed sources who claimed the Biden administration has made several such offers over the last several weeks in an attempt to prevent a large-scale Rafah operation. 

The news outlet also reported that the U.S. offered to help provide tents and deliver aid to Palestinians evacuating Rafah if Israel would commit to targeted operations in the southernmost city in the Gaza Strip. 

Israel has reportedly promised not to begin any large-scale operation in Rafah until it has evacuated at least 800,000 of the estimated 1 million evacuees living in the southern town near the Egyptian border. 

Last week, Israel began instructing Palestinians living in the eastern portion of Rafah to evacuate to an expanded humanitarian zone between Khan Younis and the Mediterranean coast.

On Sunday morning, Palestinian sources reported that Israel was, once again, dropping leaflets in Rafah, urging civilians to evacuate the area. 

The Israeli government has repeatedly said it views a Rafah operation as necessary to achieve its goals of eliminating Hamas leadership and freeing the remaining Israeli hostages, many of whom are believed to be in Rafah. Hamas leaders Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif are also believed to be hiding out in the southern enclave, according to the IDF.

However, a report from The Times of Israel raised doubts about Sinwar’s location after citing two unnamed officials who said recent intelligence assessments indicate that Sinwar may have returned to Khan Younis. 

Last week, the IDF initiated operations in Rafah by seizing control of the border area between Gaza and Egypt, attempting to halt the smuggling of weapons and individuals across the border.

During the operational pause that Israel provided in order to engage in hostage negotiations, Hamas operatives began returning to areas of Gaza that had previously been cleared. At least one of the officials who spoke to the Times of Israel said Sinwar and terrorists have apparently fled northward from Rafah ahead of the expected IDF operation there. 

It is not clear what specific military intelligence the U.S. offer entails.

On Thursday, White House National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. was already providing Israel with intelligence to help target Hamas leaders. 

“We could also, in fact, help them target the leaders, including Sinwar, which we are, frankly, doing with the Israelis on an ongoing basis,” Kirby said. 

Despite increasing U.S. pressure on the IDF not to enter Rafah in a large military operation, in the last few days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has consistently signaled his intention to move ahead with the plan.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

All Israel
Receive latest news & updates
    A message from All Israel News
    Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
    For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
    Donate to ALL ISRAEL NEWS
    Popular Articles
    Latest Stories