Israel’s Defense Forces shared a video Wednesday that they said showed Hamas leader Yehiyeh Sinwar “proudly” showing off “a child holding a firearm.”
In the video, the child is also wearing camo fatigues and what appears to be a flak vest, greeting a group of adult men on a stage.He is hoisted into the air, brandishing what looks like a rifle with a high-capacity magazine as music plays and the adults hug him and kiss his hand.
The video was taken at a Hamas rally in Gaza City on Monday.
The child’s father was a member of Hamas’ military wing, the Qassam Brigades, who was killed in the 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas, according to the Times of Israel.
Despite a recent Egypt-brokered cease-fire that halted Hamas’ rocket barrages and Israel’s airstrikes, Sinwar reportedly renewed his belligerent rhetoric. He called the deadly clash with Israel, in which more than 250 Palestinians died and nearly 2,000 were wounded, was “but a drill.”
The victims included about 200 militants, according to Israel, but the Gaza Health Ministry said at least 66 of the dead were children. On the Israeli said, one soldier and 11 civilians were killed, two of them children.
And Sinwar all but dared the IDF to come after him.
“The greatest gift Israel can give me is to assassinate me,” he said, according to the Times. “I prefer to die a martyr from an F-16 than to die of coronavirus or [another] disease.”
Hamas, which has been designated a terror group by Israel, the U.S. and other allies, seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.