Hamas Leader Says October 7 Was ‘Just A Rehearsal’, More Violence To Come

Hamas’ leader in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar speaks during a press conference for Quds (Jerusalem) day in Gaza City on 30 May 2019. (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
1:45 PM – Thursday, November 30, 2023

The leader of the Hamas terrorist group, Yahya Sinwar, warned that the massacre on October 7th was “just a rehearsal” for future strikes on Israel.


On Thursday, Hamas group leader Yahya Sinwar made his first public announcement in Gaza since the Islamic terrorist organization launched an attack on Israel on October 7th, killing over a thousand people and abducting hundreds more.

In his statement, Sinwar threatened that the group’s early October slaughter was “just a rehearsal,” for many more future attacks on Israel.

Additionally, Sinwar allegedly called for “indiscriminate killing” in his announcement, according to The Messenger outlet.

“The leaders of the occupation [Israel] should know, October 7th was just a rehearsal,” stated Sinwar, according to the Maariv newspaper.

In addition to the 1,200 people who died on that tragic day, nearly 240 men, women, children, and soldiers were held captive in Gaza, and many are still being kept as hostages currently.

On Monday, Israeli media outlets announced that Sinwar had visited many of the hostages that were being held in an underground tunnel in the Gaza Strip.

Egypt is believed to have applied significant pressure to Sinwar as Israel and Hamas made a deal to prolong their cease-fire in exchange for the release of hostages on Monday.

“Twice during the ceasefire the parties got into a crisis when Yahya Sinwar tried to violate the agreements, the first time last Saturday night,” said an Egyptian source. “Egyptian intelligence officers arrived at the Rafah Crossing [to Gaza] and conveyed to Sinwar extremely difficult messages and threats peppered with juicy curses. A short hour later … the Israeli hostages were released.”

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) International Spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht announced to reporters that Sinwar and his terrorist group are “in our sights.”

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

In the past, an Israeli court found Sinwar guilty of several murder charges and he was given five life sentences, which he was initially set to serve out until his death. During his time in prison, he reportedly became fluent in Hebrew by watching Israeli television shows.

However, as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange, he was released from prison in Israel in October 2011, having served only 22 years.

Following his release from prison, Sinwar rose to prominence within Hamas, eventually defeating Ismail Haniyeh in an internal vote to take the role of leader of Gaza in February 2017.

Sinwar was given the nickname “the butcher of Khan Younis,” which referred to the southern Gaza city that he grew up in.

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