Awake, Sinwar! We have returned. Our presence here confirms the victory of civilisation over barbarism[1]*

They have made it abundantly clear that the benefits of Israeli civilisation do not interest them. The victory of Israel is a victory for civilisation, and we cannot allow the Palestinians to hold civilisation hostage.

Awake, Sinwar! We have returned. Our presence here confirms the victory of civilisation over barbarism[1]*


* By Jalal Tagreeb, 15 January 2024


Israel has vowed to capture Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, the mastermind behind the October 7th attack on Israel.  Sinwar is really a key leader to capture;  the importance of capturing him alive has many implications and advantages for Israel.

Firstly, Hamas leaders vowed that it is either “victory or martyrdom” and being captured violates Islamic rule of “they slay and are slain”, because being captured means that they surrendered. Secondly, while a Muslim’s undertaking to the kufaar is not binding, a Hamas surrender would show to Muslims that Hamas leaders do not keep their word and promises. Thirdly, in the eyes of Muslims, they would be weak, but try to appear strong. Fourthly, Hamas is deprived of the expertise of an experienced leader. Fifthly, Israel can gain much information from the captured leader regarding military plans, people, structure of Hamas organisation and much more. Finally, and most importantly, knowing that a Hamas leader is in prison would be a continuous defeat to Hamas.

It will take Hamas decades to build a leader like Sinwar. His capture will be a setback for Hamas and can contribute to breaking the will of Hamas to fight. Also, it would be a moral victory for Israel. On the other hand, eliminating a Hamas leader abroad, while tremendous in and of itself, achieves only one of the above advantages, which deprives Hamas of the expertise of this hunted leader. In addition, it confirms that Hamas keep their word and die as “heroes”.

It must be kept in mind that Yahya Sinwar  from the very beginning was part of setting up the terrorist structure of Hamas from 1988 onwards, he was also the founder of the Gaza Hamas intelligence organization that hunts those members they suspect of collaborating with Israel. He is a hardliner within the terrorist organization, who always argued for taking hostages to exchange for Palestinian prisoners. He is the one who strongly pushed, when he came for the leadership in 2017, for a stronger relationship with Iran and to earnestly build Hamas' capability to conduct large scale attacks.

This would not be the first defeat for Yahya Sinwar. The Israelis captured Sinwar in February 1988 and sentenced him to four life sentences in 1989. He attempted to escape several times, but was always caught. His recapture is simply a matter of time. Sinwar must be erased in the same way that Hitler, Saddam and Ghaddafi were erased. His spiritual and moral defeat are more important to first eliminate him and his approach from people’s minds.

During Sinwar’s imprisonment, in 2008, he was operated on by Israeli doctors to remove a tumor from his brain to save his life[2]. The recovered Sinwar then went on to orchestrate the 7 October massacre of the very people who had saved his life. This is perfectly consistent with Gazans never appreciating the medical help they receive from Israel, showing again how Muslims feel and act towards the kufaar (people lower than them). This raises a further question of the wisdom of Israel helping the Palestinians at all[3].

Arab dictators display the same, predictable traits. They have extremely frail egos, are given to demagoguery and surround themselves with the trappings of absolute power. The slightest lack of deference, whether real or perceived, humiliates them and elicits extreme reactions. They are also notoriously brutal and cruel, killing without a second thought. They consider the state their personal property. Very typical are, e.g., Muammar Ghaddafi, Saddam Hussein and of course, Yahya Sinwar is no exception.

When cornered, the one thing they must avoid at all costs is to be seen to be humiliated. Admitting defeat means being seen to be humiliated. Saddam Hussein would live inside an empty septic tank to avoid such a fate. Muammar Ghaddafi was found hiding in a sewer pipe. And now Yahya Sinwar is very close to repeating the same humiliating exit.

Sinwar reinforces a crucial lesson that we should all already have learnt: never help Palestinians who adopt barbarism as a choice. No life-saving operation, no early release from prison, was ever going to make him not want to kill all Jews.

Saddam was captured in the town of Ad-Dawr near his hometown of Tikrit (ironically, also Salah ad-Din’s hometown), quite literally in an empty septic tank[4], [5]. This is where he chose to be at the end. When the American soldiers found him, he had the chance to resist, because he had his guns with him, but he decided to surrender, which completely goes against the teachings of Islam concerning jihad – the Qur’an prohibits the jihadi from fleeing the battlefield (Surah 8:15). The Americans placed a burlap bag over the opening of that septic tank hole and Saddam went into that bag like a rat! The Americans returned him to his palace, but placed him in a cell to protect him from the people’s wrath.

The IDF will choose a better place for Sinwar, . "Sin"-"war" is already imprisoned in the underground infrastructure of Gaza, believed to be beneath his hometown, Khan Younis[6],[7]. Will Hamas call this a victory?

In my opinion, the IDF should concentrate on the following points to achieve their goals:

1. Seal the borders of Gaza, especially in the south. The encirclement should be airtight above and below ground, because there is likely a functioning underground system across the Egyptian frontier into Sinai[8]. This might need international collaboration. In fact, the Israelis are negotiating with the Egyptians about this issue these days. Furthermore, U.S. is providing its findings to Israel, for example, a recently published report by U.S.[9] said that targeting Sinwar is not simply a matter of finding him, because it is believed that he is hiding in the deepest part of the tunnel infrastructure under his hometown Khan Younis and he is also believed to be surrounded by hostages, using them as human shields.   

2. Focus on gaining the support of the people of Gaza and induce them to change their minds about supporting Hamas, since Hamas is the only organisation responsible for this huge destruction and suffering. The only way to stop their suffering is by cooperating with the IDF and giving information to them. The IDF is already doing that by distributing special leaflets, shown above, that offer monetary rewards for information on Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar and others[10]. 

3. Destroy ALL Hamas infrastructure (above and below ground). Virtually every structure in Gaza is for military use, which means that Gaza must end up flattened to the ground.

I hope to have shown that the capture of Yahya Sinwar would be to the benefit of everyone, especially the Palestinians. Although the Palestinian track record suggests otherwise, it remains true that they can stop the war and learn that barbarism does not help them. They have made it abundantly clear that the benefits of Israeli civilisation do not interest them. The victory of Israel is a victory for civilisation, and we cannot allow the Palestinians to hold civilisation hostage. Israel must do what it has to do to destroy Hamas.



  1. The French General Henri Gouraud is remembered in the Levant primarily for his role as a French leader and for an apocryphal anecdote. The story says that following the Battle of Maysalun, Gouraud allegedly went to the Tomb of Saladin, kicked it, and said: "Awake, Saladin. We have returned. My presence here consecrates the victory of the Cross over the Crescent." The quote is sometimes attributed to Mariano Goybet instead of Gouraud. Well, for Sinwar no one will tell us a story, because we are witnessing the event ... his white semi-transparent nylon suit is waiting for him!

Jalal Tagreeb is a freelance researcher and translator from the Levant. A Muslim apologist from a pious family, his studies in Islamic history and literature went into preparing debates against secularists and Christians. When, after two decades, Jalal was finally ready, his opponents simply devastated him. Now, in his own words, he tells about jihad by word (jihad of the tongue)!

Picture credits:

Screenshot from X used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law in


On 17 January 2024 at 14:48, Ben Dor A. wrote:

Thank you.

This is an excellent article.

Shared it on Quora.
Best Regards 

Ben Dor A.

On 18 January 2024 at 20:40, Jalal Tagreeb wrote:

I have seen Mr Ben Dor A's comment on the last Sinwar article. I am so glad that he liked it. Please thank him for his nice comment and for sharing the article on Quora where it got a lot of views and likes. I have re-shared that link on Quora with the Secular Society in the UK as well. They were delighted and said that it is excellent, and this coming from a former Muslim apologist means a lot. It is a solid proof that there is no backsliding to Islam – something that they are not worried about anymore.