May 28, 2024
What does the Biden administration know about Sinwar that It hasn’t told Israel?
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What does the Biden administration know about Sinwar that It hasn’t told Israel?

by Giovanni Giacalone

The Biden administration has reportedly offered to give Israel “sensitive intelligence” on the whereabouts of senior Hamas leaders if it agrees to hold off on the major military operation in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah.

The Washington Post quoted four unnamed sources as saying that the United States “is offering Israel valuable assistance if the IDF stops the operations in Rafah, including sensitive intelligence to help the Israeli military pinpoint the location of Hamas leaders and find the group’s hidden tunnels.”

Comments from White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby at a Thursday briefing appeared to be in line with the report, though he noted that such intelligence was already being given to Israel:

“We could also, in fact, help them target the leaders, including [Hamas leader Yahya] Sinwar, which we are, frankly, doing with the Israelis on an ongoing basis,” he said.

Information on tunnels and the location of Hamas leaders in US possession should be shared with Israel regardless of the combat situation on the ground, not only because of the longstanding alliance, but also considering that Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the United States.

This is perhaps why John Kirby was quick to point out that intelligence sharing with Israel was already underway on an ongoing basis.

However, the issue raises some very serious questions. Is it possible that the Biden administration is not only withholding weapons from Israel, but also sensitive information on the whereabouts of Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif? If affirmative, how would it be possible for the US to have such information? And why not tell Israel?

Israel certainly possesses extensive and widespread information on the presence and the activity of Hamas leaders and commanders in Gaza due to the advanced technological apparatus in use by Israeli intelligence and longstanding Shin Bet humint networks active in the Palestinian-ruled territories.

The possibility that the Biden administration knows where Hamas leaders are hiding while Israel does not, brings out a disturbing picture of what’s going on in Washington, especially considering Biden’s sudden will to stop the IDF from entering Rafah and terminating the remaining Hamas battalions, which is very bizarre.

Furthermore, there are other things that turn out quite odd, taking into consideration that Washington is Israel’s strongest ally, for instance, the fact that the Biden administration did not warn Israel about last week’s negotiation trap.

As it turned out, even though the latest offer presented to Hamas by Egypt last week was different from the one accepted by Israel days earlier (and unacceptable), Washington did not inform Israel about the changes made, triggering intense Israeli disappointment with the US administration and suspicion regarding its role as a mediator.

The Israeli sources told Axios it had now become clear that Washington and CIA Director William Burns had known about the new document, which had “many new elements” and “looked like a whole new proposal,” but did not tell Israel about its existence. This case was used by Hamas to paint itself as willing to reach a deal and Israel as the headstrong party, as explained by The Times of Israel.

Moreover, on May 7th, an article published on Politico indicated that Washington is holding up shipments of Boeing’s Joint Direct Attack Munitions — both the munitions and kits that convert them to smart weapons — and Small Diameter Bombs. The issue was also raised by Prof. Alan Dershowitz who denounced, during his Dershow, that the Biden administration is withholding weapons that would make Israel able to hit Hamas targets without causing civilian casualties.

If this is correct, then why would Biden want to withhold weapons that minimize the death of civilians in Gaza while at the same time pressuring Israel to stop entering Rafah, due to concern for civilian casualties? Something does not add up.

In the meantime, it is interesting to notice how the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) revised its child fatality figure from the Gaza war sharply downward, reporting more than 14,500 deaths on May 6 but then 7,797 on May 8. OCHA also revised downward its figure for women fatalities from more than 9,500 deaths to 4,959 deaths. The UN attributed its original, higher figures to the Hamas-controlled Government Media Office (GMO) in Gaza, whose figures OCHA has cited continually for the past two months. This change may indicate that the UN has finally recognized the lack of evidence behind Hamas’s original claims.

Now, it would be the right time for the Biden administration to do the same, considering that during President Biden’s State of the Union speech, he used the Gaza death count produced by the Hamas-run Ministry of Health, quoting some 30,000 deaths. The numbers were challenged and confuted by prominent statistician Abraham Wyner, who revealed Hamas provided fake casualty numbers.

The whole “humanitarian concern” increasingly seems like a pretext to stop Israel from eradicating Hamas. The Biden administration seems more concerned with allowing Hamas to survive, in line with its ally Qatar, which is also Hamas’ main supporter in the region.

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