During his captivity in Israel, the Hamas leader required medical treatment. Without the treatment he would have died, the doctor who treated him says today – and regrets the effort.
A doctor who frequently treated Hamas leader Jihia al-Sinwar while he was in prison in Israel now regrets that Israeli doctors saved his life.
Juval Biton told the Israeli TV station Channel 12 on Friday evening that he was responsible for the dental treatment of Sinwar and other Hamas prisoners at the time. During the massacres by Hamas terrorists in the Israeli border area on October 7th, his nephew was kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz to the Gaza Strip.
“Israeli doctors saved his life”
Sinwar had a festering brain abscess while in custody, Biton recalled. “If he had burst, he could have said goodbye,” said Biton, who also became head of the Israel Prisons Authority’s intelligence department at the time. “Israeli doctors saved his life.” Today he deeply regrets this. “The fact that we saved his life cost the lives of hundreds of children and old people,” Biton said with tears in his eyes. Israel had long had illusions and underestimated the danger posed by the enemy in the Gaza Strip.
Biton said that Sinwar had already established his leadership role within Hamas while in prison. “He was prepared to pay any price for his principles.” The current head of Hamas was imprisoned in Israel for more than two decades and also learned Hebrew in prison.
Sinwar was released in a prisoner exchange
In 2011, Sinwar was one of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners released as part of a prisoner swap in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Sinwar was primarily responsible for the deaths of Palestinian collaborators, Biton said. Those who knew him at the time considered Sinwar’s release to be very dangerous because of his “destructive abilities.” He also warned about it himself at the time. However, the domestic secret service Shin Bet did not ask the prison authorities.
Israel also released Sinwar at the time, even though he refused to sign a pledge that he would renounce terrorist activities, Biton said.
When asked what he would say to Sinwar if he were in the same room with him again, the dentist said: “That he himself determined the end of Hamas.”
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