Israeli airstrike kills three sons of Hamas leader Haniyeh

An Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday resulted in the deaths of three sons of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, according to statements from the Palestinian Islamist group and Haniyeh's family.

Publication: 11.04.2024 - 11:07
Israeli airstrike kills three sons of Hamas leader Haniyeh
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The Israeli military, confirming the strike, labeled the three as operatives in Hamas' armed wing. Hazem, Amir, and Mohammad Haniyeh were killed when their car was targeted in Gaza's Al-Shati camp. Additionally, four of Haniyeh's grandchildren, three girls and a boy, perished in the same attack.

In response to inquiries about the grandchildren's deaths, the Israeli military stated it had "no information on that right now." Ismail Haniyeh, who resides in Qatar, has been a prominent figure in Hamas' international diplomacy amid the ongoing conflict with Israel. His home in Gaza was destroyed in a previous Israeli airstrike in November. Despite the personal loss, Haniyeh, who has 13 children, emphasized the collective sacrifice, telling Al Jazeera TV, "The blood of my sons is not dearer than the blood of our people."

The family was visiting relatives in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City during the Eid al-Fitr holiday when the airstrike occurred. Hamas mentioned it was considering an Israeli ceasefire proposal for the ongoing war, now over six months long, but criticized it for not meeting any Palestinian demands. Haniyeh vowed that Hamas would not alter its stance in response to the targeting of his sons, underscoring the group's demands for an end to Israeli military actions, a withdrawal from Gaza, and the right of return for displaced Palestinians.

Abdel-Salam Haniyeh, the eldest son, confirmed the deaths on Facebook, expressing gratitude for their martyrdom. Ismail Haniyeh, who has been Hamas' leader since 2017, has been active in ceasefire negotiations and maintains communication with Iran, Hamas' main ally, while living in Turkey and Qatar to evade Israeli travel restrictions on Gaza.

Israel considers the entire Hamas leadership, including Haniyeh, as terrorists, accusing them of directing the organization's activities. The details of Haniyeh's knowledge of the October 7 cross-border attack from Gaza into Israel, orchestrated by the Hamas military council, remain uncertain, with some Hamas officials abroad reportedly surprised by its timing and scale.

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