As tensions rise in the occupied Gaza, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar takes an opportunity to search for peace.

Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas political leader in Gaza and and the military leader of the Qassam Brigades gave an unprecedented interview to Israeli paper Yedioth Ahronoth and Italian news outlet La Repubblica. 

In his interview, the full version will be released on Friday, Yahya argued that a "new war is in no one's interest, certainly not our interest."

The Hamas leader spent 22 years in Israeli prison and was finally released in 2011 as part of a deal in which the Israeli solider Gilad Shalit was also repatriated to Israel. 

In 2017, the life-long member of Hamas, was elected as political leader of Hamas. 

His latest interview to Yedioth Ahronoth Yahya aims to speak directly to an Israeli audience. 

Hamas leadership is trying to reach a lengthy truce with Israel. In the past such truces have resulted in increased food and much needed medical shipments that are currently denied or withheld for long periods at a time by Israeli authorities. 

In his interview Yahya Sinwar made clear that his "commitment is to act in the interest of my people; to protect them and to defend their right for freedom and independence."

Whether Israel feels that such an arrangement is in its interests or not, remains to be seen. 

Speaking to an Israeli paper the Hamas leader is communicating not only with Israeli leadership, but to the Israeli public. 

Gaza blockade

Gaza has been blockaded by Israel through land, sea and air since 2006, when Hamas won democratic elections against Israeli opposition. 

The blockade has caused widespread impoverishment, desolation of Palestinian industry, increase in malnourishment and a health care system in crisis. 

Since Hamas has been in power in Gaza, Israel lead a campaign of war three times on the impoverished land leaving thousands of civilians dead. 

Egypt has also been an Israeli partner in the blockade. 

Rising tensions

Over the last 6 months, beginning March 30, there have been weekly protests under the banner of 'The Great March of Return'. 

The protests are aimed at raising awareness of the internationally enshrined right of return for Palestinian refugees who were ethnically cleansed from their homes in what is present-day Israel. 

Israel's use of deadly live fire during the the protests have led to more than 150 Palestinians being killed, including 31 children. 

In that time more than 10,000 Palestinians have also been injured with the vast majority requiring hospitalisation. 

As weekly protests continue against the Israeli occupation the chances of another war between Hamas and Israel increases, but Hamas' stance, as seen through the lens of this interview, seems to be more pragmatic,