HAMAS has teased Israel with a photograph of "Gaza's Bin Laden" grinning from ear to ear while sitting on a chair in a ruined home.
Israeli forces this week surrounded one of Yahya Sinwar's houses in northwest Khan Younis where it was believed he could be hiding.
Described by IDF Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner in a tell-all interview with The Sun as the "mastermind of the massacre of seventh of October", Yahya Sinwar is at the very top of Israel's kill list.
Lt Col Lerner said: "He is the person that financed it [the October 7 attack], organised it, planned it, and gave the green light to go and kill and butcher, massacre, abduct, rape and behead Israelis.
"He's at the top of our list. We intend on catching up with him and killing him in action."
Hours after the powerful message, Israeli forces had completely surrounded the traditional home at number five street in northwest Khan Younis where it was believed Sinwar, 61, was laying low.
The IDF's chief of staff Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi said earlier: "We are attacking [Hamas'] centre of gravity.
"We are asked frequently about the destruction in Gaza. Hamas is the address. Sinwar is the address."
And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday: "Yesterday, I said that our forces can reach anywhere in the Gaza Strip. Now they are surrounding Sinwar's house.
"So his house is not his fortress, and he can escape, but it's only a matter of time before we get him."
But Hamas claims it cannot be true that Israeli forces surrounded Sinwar's home this week because Sinwar's home no longer exists.
The terror group said: "The occupation's pursuit to achieve an illusory victory through Netanyahu's announcement of surrounding the house of the fighter Yahya Sinwar which was bombed and destroyed during the Battle of Saif Al-Quds on May 17, 2021 is nothing but a chase of illusions and mirages."
Hamas said Netanyahu's claim to have surrounded Sinwar's house was a reflection of the "enemy's failure to achieve any accomplishment or objective in its aggressive goals against our people and their Resistance."
It went on to taunt Israel with the "famous picture of Sinwar sitting on a couch atop the ruins of his house," which is understood to have been taken in 2021.
The home Israel honed in on this week is reportedly one of many that Sinwar owns and the encirclement is just a small part of an exhaustive plan to find and kill the Hamas leader.
Israel's military chiefs vowed to continue their renewed offensive until "Gaza's Bin Laden" is dead, as details of his twisted psyche were laid bare.
Sinwar spent 22 years in an Israeli prison for terrorism, murder and kidnap plots.
Lt Col Lerner said Khan Younis was a "hotbed" of senior Hamas terrorists who the IDF are determined to wipe out completely.
He continued: "It's a centre of gravity and that is why we are increasing our operations and expanding our efforts around those centres of gravity in order to take out Hamas wherever they are operating.
"We've revealed images and photos of senior Hamas terrorists that were hiding out in tunnels and we are defeating them as we move forward."
At least six of the terror chiefs have reportedly been killed by the IDF since the temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas ended.
This number includes the brigade's top commander Ahmed Al Ghandour who was in charge of the faction for 18 years and October 7 ringleader Wissam Farhat, along with three other top commanders.
Pictures released this week appeared to show dozens of Israeli troops setting up pumps and pipes close to the sea as they look to flood Hamas' 300-mile tunnel network where Israel claims the terrorists are hiding.
At least five large pumps have been installed by the IDF which could be used to fill the sprawling maze with seawater and flush out the terrorists in a matter of weeks, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The terror group's taunt comes amid shock claims by Israel that the son of Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh spent a fortune on lavish jewellery while Gazan civilians starved.
Five receipts reportedly uncovered during IDF raids exposed Moaz Haniyeh's obsession with jewels which came at a cost of £20,000.
Just one of the jewellery purchases was "equivalent to approximately two years of work for a resident of Gaza," said IDF spokesman Avijaa Adraei.
The spokesman fumed: "It is people like these who live a luxurious life and decide for you what your life will look like.
"It is the one that decided to impose war on you, but it does not care about your lives, knowing that some of them do not even live in Gaza."