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26 May, 2021 16:32

‘Does this look like an organization that wants peace?’ IDF posts video of Hamas leader posing with armed child

‘Does this look like an organization that wants peace?’ IDF posts video of Hamas leader posing with armed child

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have slammed Hamas’s leader over a morally dubious photo shoot in which Yahya Sinwar, the militant chief, posed with a child armed with what appears to be an AKS-74U assault rifle.

In a post on Wednesday, the IDF questioned Hamas’s commitment to peace following the Egyptian-mediated ceasefire last week. The tweet is accompanied by a video of Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar posing with an armed child and asks: “Does this look like an organization that wants peace?”

The leader was reportedly posing with a child of a fighter from the Al Qassam Brigades who died during the conflict with Israel. The child, who can be seen wearing full camouflage gear and holding a weapon, is embraced and picked up by Sinwar during a rally in Gaza City.

Over the weekend, Sinwar made his first public appearance since the ceasefire was agreed. The Hamas chief’s home was targeted in bombing raids and he remains on Israel’s hitlist.

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In an interview with Israel’s Channel 12 on Saturday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that Sinwar and Hamas chief of staff Mohammed Deif remained “in Israel’s sights.” A senior Hamas official responded, telling the Israeli state broadcaster Kan that if Israel were to attempt a hit on Sinwar or Deif, the group would start a new round of fighting.

Officials in Gaza say that at least 243 people, including more than 100 women and children, were killed during the latest conflict. In numerous airstrikes, the IDF targeted militant positions, the homes of Hamas leaders as well as a vast underground network of tunnels used by Palestinian militants when taking shelter.

A ceasefire between Hamas and Israel has held for six days, but tensions remain high in East Jerusalem, where clashes between Palestinians and Israeli law enforcement were the catalyst for the latest outbreak of violence. On Friday, violent clashes erupted at Al-Aqsa mosque, just hours after the ceasefire was agreed.

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