Minister predicts Hamas chief's demise: 'His days are numbered'

Housing Minister Galant stops short of open threat on Hamas leader's life: 'He won't die in an old-age-home.'

Mordechai Sones ,

Yoav Galant
Yoav Galant
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Construction and Housing Minister and Security Cabinet member Yoav Galant says Gaza Hamas leader Yihye Sinwar's "days are numbered".

Speaking at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference this morning, Galant stopped short of openly threatening Sinwar's life, but did predict with knowing certainty an unnatural demise for the Hamas leader: "Yihye Sinwar's days are numbered. He won't end his life in an old-age-home," Galant said.

Asked point-blank whether Sinwar will be killed in an Israeli targeted assassination, Galant, switching to English, cautiously chose his words: "I'm saying that he is in a very dramatic junction. He has to recalculate his route, whether they want to fight us, or keep the [quiet].

"If you look at what Israel did during the last ten years, since Operation Cast Lead that I commanded the operation in the Southern Command at that time, we closed the sea, we closed the maneuvering on the ground, either through the Gaza Strip directly or through the Sinai Desert, I think Iron Dome is doing a pretty good job against the missiles, and we are in a phase of eliminating all the tunnels. Now, they have to decide: If they want to fight, we will defeat them. If they want to behave themselves and to talk, whether it's through a third party, we will hear them."

Unsatisfied with Galant's circumlocutious reply, Jerusalem Post reporter Herb Keinon pressed on and asked "I just want to understand what you said before: Are you recommending that Israel take out Sinwar?" Galant reiterated his earlier allusion without being drawn into a more committal policy statement: "I'm saying that his time is limited. As I said, very clear, and they have to behave themselves for good reasons."

Speaking last month at the Maariv Conference in Jerusalem, Galant disparaged those calling for going to war as lacking experience and not truly understanding war or the limits of IDF power. “We need to think ten times before going to war. People who do not understand war can be over-aggressive. We only go to war as the last option. But if we get to war, then we hit with extreme force,” he said.

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