Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh says three sons killed in Israeli strike in Gaza

Group's political chief lives in exile but his family remaining in Gaza have previously been targeted

Three of Ismail Haniyeh's sons killed in Israeli strike

Three of Ismail Haniyeh's sons killed in Israeli strike
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An Israeli drone strike has killed a number of children and grandchildren of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, he said on Wednesday.

Hazem, Ameer and Mohammed Haniyeh were among those killed in the strike near the Al Shati refugee camp in Gaza city, Hamas media said.

The three were all sons of Mr Haniyeh, who is the leader of Hamas's political bureau.

Three of Mr Haniyeh's grandchildren were also reportedly killed in the attack.

Speaking from Doha, Mr Haniyeh told Al Jazeera the death of family members would only strengthen Palestinians' resolve.

“The occupation thinks that they can break our willpower by targeting the commanders’ homes and pressuring them into squandering our people’s blood and their demands … this will only make us stronger and more resilient,” he said.

“The blood of my family is not more valuable than the blood of other Palestinians. All the martyrs in Gaza are my children."

“The criminal enemy is driven by the spirit of revenge and murder and does not value any standards or laws.”

Mr Haniyeh is originally from Al Shati, where the strike occurred, but has lived outside Gaza since 2017, when he was replaced as the leader of Hamas in the enclave by Yahya Sinwar.

He has since operated the chairman of Hamas's political bureau, based in Qatar.

The Israeli military confirmed killing the three men in a statement posted on X by army spokesman Daniel Hagari on Wednesday.

It said all three of Mr Haniyeh's sons were active members of Hamas.

Fourteen members of the Haniyeh family were reportedly killed in an Israeli air strike on a family home in Sheikh Radwan, Gaza city, on October 14.

Israeli air strikes in the war in Gaza have frequently targeted family homes of suspected Hamas operatives, leading to a disproportionately high civilian death toll.

Israel's leaders have vowed to wipe out Hamas in retaliation for the group's attacks on October 7, which killed about 1,200 people in southern Israel.

More than 33,400 Palestinians have been killed in the ensuing six months of war in Gaza.

Updated: April 10, 2024, 7:03 PM