Netanyahu says IDF encircling Hamas Gaza leader's house

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his forces have encircled the home of Hamas’ Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar inside the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu says IDF encircling Hamas Gaza leader's house

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that his country’s military is now "encircling" the home of Hamas’ leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar. 

"Last night I said that our forces can reach anywhere in the Gaza Strip. Now they are encircling Sinwar's house. So his house is not his fortress, and he can escape, but it's only a matter of time before we get him," Netanyahu said in a video announcement. 

"Secondly, we exert pressure to allow the Red Cross visits of our hostages. Further to that, today I spoke again with the president of the Red Cross and told her to turn to Qatar, which has been proven to have leverage on Hamas, and demand Red Cross visits to our hostages, and of course the supply of medicine for them," Netnayahu added. 

Sinwar is believed to be somewhere in the Palestinian enclave but hidden in Hamas’ vast underground network of tunnels. 

Referred to by Israel as the "Butcher of Khan Younis" for his violent and cruel torture methods against his enemies, both Israeli and Palestinian, Sinwar, 60, is widely seen as being behind the massacre of Israeli civilians carried out by thousands of Hamas militants on Oct. 7. 

"That man is in our sights," Israeli Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht told journalists in mid-October. "Sinwar is the leader of Hamas in Gaza and he’s a dead man walking."

"We will get to him, however long it takes… and this war could be long," he added. 

One of the first Israeli hostages to have been freed by Hamas also said last week that she confronted Sinwar in a tunnel underneath Gaza during her time in captivity.

Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, told the Israeli newspaper Davar that Sinwar paid the hostages a visit and "was with us three to four days after we arrived," according to Reuters.

"I asked him how he is not ashamed to do such a thing to people who all these years have supported peace," she reportedly said. "He didn't answer. He was silent." 

Fox News’ Ruth Marks Eglash contributed to this report.