Hamas releases video of 21-year-old hostage Mia Shem

The document orders that photos and videos of the Israeli hostages continue to be published.

By Joshua Marks, JNS

Israeli forces in Gaza recently found a secret document written by a senior Hamas official detailing the terrorist group’s psychological warfare strategy against the Israeli public, Channel 12 reported on Monday.

Furthermore, the document was discovered at a site visited by Hamas’s senior leader in the Strip, Yahya Sinwar, according to the report. However, it was unclear whether the mastermind of the Oct. 7 massacre had penned the paper.

The document orders that photos and videos of the Israeli hostages continue to be published “due to the psychological pressure they create.” There are currently 136 captives still in the hands of Hamas.

The report also singles out Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant as a target for psychological pressure, apparently due to the terror group’s belief that he is the most susceptible to this tactic.

Additionally, the directive emphasizes the importance of maintaining the narrative that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bears responsibility for the failures of the Oct. 7 terrorist attack and pushing the idea that the IDF ground operations will not create the conditions necessary for the return of the rest of the hostages.

Moreover, the document highlights the social divide in Israel as an issue to focus on, as well as increasing pressure around the issue of the hostages and “putting sticks” in the wheels of Israel’s war.

Sinwar is believed to be hiding in the Hamas stronghold of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip, where he has reportedly surrounded himself with a large number of living hostages. Mohammed Deif, the head of Hamas’s “military wing,” is also believed to be holed up there.

The IDF is in the midst of a major offensive in Khan Yunis that kicked off on Jan. 21, killing around 3,000 Hamas terrorists so far, representing a third of Hamas’s fighting forces in the city. In the last few days, 340 Hamas terrorists were arrested.

Furthermore, combat teams from the 98th Division are fighting in the vast tunnel network underneath Khan Yunis, and destroying the tunnels. Raids on Hamas positions and infrastructure have revealed, among other findings, a major rocket-making factory and the offices of senior Hamas officials, including Sinwar.

On Oct. 14, IDF International Spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht told journalists that Sinwar and his entire command team “are in our sights.”

“Yahya Sinwar is the face of evil. He is the mastermind behind this, like [Osama] bin Laden was [with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks]. He built his career on murdering Palestinians when he understood they were collaborators [with Israel]. That’s how he became known as the butcher of Khan Yunis,” said Hecht.

Sinwar’s death is only a matter of time, a senior Biden administration official said in December, pledging that “justice will be served.”