In an effort to accelerate the resolution of the ongoing conflict in Gaza, Israeli authorities have announced a one million reward for the information that leads to the capture and identification of those responsible and involved in the attack perpetrated by Hamas on October 7, 2023. This initiative was communicated through leaflets distributed in Gaza, which warned of Hamas’s impending downfall and encouraged cooperation for a better future.
In a discussion with the USA National Security Advisor (NSA) Jake Sullivan in Jerusalem, Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant highlighted the complex challenges Hamas poses with its extensive infrastructure. Gallant acknowledged that the conflict may continue for several months, but expressed confidence in Israel’s eventual triumph asserting, “We will win and we will destroy them.”
This approach stands in contrast to the international demands for an immediate ceasefire as underscored by a recent United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution that was overwhelmingly supported. However, the Israel Defence Forces and officials are committed to a prolonged campaign against Hamas.
The IDF has also offered a $400,000 bounty for information and the whereabouts of top Hamas commander and leader Yahya Sinwar, who played a crucial role in the October 7, 2023 attack. Other rewards include $300,000 for Sinwar’s brother Muhammed Sinwar, $100,000 for Mohammed Deif, the elusive commander of Hamas militant brigades, and $200,000 for Rafa Salameh, the commander of the Khan Younis Battalion of Hamas.
Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defence of Democracies told an American media agency that Sinwar was the man who pulled off the information operation that hoodwinked the Israelis for two years leading up to the October 7 attack this year. “So, with him, it is personal. They want his scalp.”
Rationale Behind Rewards
Israeli forces believe that eliminating these figures is crucial to ending the war swiftly. Schanzer noted a decrease in Hamas Morale and an increase in surrenders, suggesting that targeting these leaders could expedite the end of the conflict. “We are already seeing a large number of surrenders,” Schanzer observed. “The Israelis see that morale of Hamas Forces is beginning to flag, and I think they also believe that, if they get their targets, it might lead to the acceleration of this trend of surrender,” he said.
Meanwhile, Israel is persisting with its military campaign in the Gaza Strip, following a statement to its principal ally, the United States of America, that the operation aimed at dismantling Hamas will extend beyond several months.
Biden’s Advice to Israel
In Washington, the US President Joe Biden called on Israel to exercise great caution in safeguarding the lives of civilians in Gaza. “I want all of them to be focused on saving civilian lives, not stop going after Hamas, but be more careful, Biden remarked acknowledging the substantial military support the US has provided to Israel. A White House spokesperson John Kirby clarified that the US is not imposing any conditions on Israel.