Three sons of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh killed in Israeli airstrike in Gaza | World News


An Israeli airstrike has killed three sons of Hamas’s top political leader in an attack on high-profile targets in Gaza.

Hamas said four of Ismail Haniyeh’s grandchildren were also killed in the strike.

The Israeli military said two of his sons, Mohammed and Hazem, were Hamas military operatives, while the third, Amir, was a cell commander.

They are among the highest-profile targets to be killed in the war so far.

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Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh speaks during a press briefing after his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Tehran, Iran,.
Pic: AP
Ismail Haniyeh. File pic: AP

The killings threaten to undermine internationally mediated ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas.

Haniyeh accused Israel of acting in “the spirit of revenge and murder” and said Hamas would not cave to pressure following the strike on his family.

“The enemy believes that by targeting the families of the leaders, it will push them to give up the demands of our people,” he told Al Jazeera TV.

“Anyone who believes that targeting my sons will push Hamas to change its position is delusional.”

Footage showed the moment he received the news while visiting wounded Palestinians at a hospital in Qatar, where he lives in exile.

He nods, looks down at the ground, and says: “God rest their souls.”

IDF stills
Hamas said Haniyeh's sons were killed in the strike near the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City

Hamas said Haniyeh’s sons were killed in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, where Haniyeh is originally from.

It also said three of his granddaughters and a grandson were killed, but did not disclose their ages.

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Hamas defeated, Israeli War Cabinet minister claims

It comes after Israeli War Cabinet minister Benny Gantz claimed Hamas had been defeated militarily, though he added Israel will fight the group for years to come.

“From a military point of view, Hamas is defeated. Its fighters are eliminated or in hiding” and its capabilities “crippled”, Mr Gantz said.

But he added: “Fighting against Hamas will take time. Boys who are now in middle school will still fight in the Gaza Strip.”

Mr Gantz reiterated the Israeli government’s commitment to invade the southern city of Rafah – where more than half the territory’s 2.3 million people have fled – a day after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed the attack would go ahead and declared: “There is a date.”

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Gazans ‘celebrate’ Eid despite war

A despondent Eid al-Fitr

The strike on Haniyeh’s children came as Palestinians marked a despondent Eid al-Fitr holiday, which ends the Ramadan fasting month, by visiting the graves of their loved ones killed in the war.

More than 33,400 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, according to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry, which does not differentiate between civilians and combatants but says most of the dead are women and children.

The war erupted after Hamas killed 1,200 people in southern Israel in a cross-border rampage on 7 October.

Israel says it has killed some 12,000 militants, without providing evidence, and lost more than 600 soldiers.

Read original article here.

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