Hamas Leader Expresses Resolve After Sons' Deaths

Ismail Haniyeh says fatal airstrike by Israel won't change his organization's demands
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2024 6:25 PM CDT
Hamas Leader Expresses Resolve After Sons' Deaths
Ismail Haniyeh speaks during a press briefing after his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Tehran, Iran, on March 26.   (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Hamas's top political leader said Wednesday that his three sons and other family members were killed in the Gaza Strip by an Israeli airstrike. Ismail Haniyeh said they were killed near the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, France 24 reports. Hazem, Ameer, and Mohammed Haniyeh "were martyred on the road to liberating Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque," their father said. The organization said they were not members of Hamas; Israel said its warplanes targeted them because they were members of Hamas' military wing, per the Wall Street Journal. A Hamas statement issued later said four of Haniyeh's grandchildren also were killed in the strike, per the BBC.

The attack took place on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Fitr, and it could add to the pressure on Israel as it negotiates with Hamas on a temporary ceasefire. Mediators said Wednesday that Hamas has mostly rejected a US proposal and wants an end to the war with Israel instead. "The enemy believes that by targeting the families of the leaders, it will push them to give up the demands of our people," said Haniyeh, who has 10 other children. "Anyone who believes that targeting my sons will push Hamas to change its position is delusional." (More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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