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3 sons of Hamas leader Haniyeh killed in Gaza airstrike ‘en route to terror activity’

Haniyeh thanks God for 'honor of their martyrdom'

Ismail Haniyeh's 3 sons killed in an Israeli airstrike on April 10, 2024. (Photo distributed on Palestinian Telegram channels)

Three sons of Hamas' political leader Ismail Haniyeh were killed in an Israeli airstrike early Wednesday morning in Gaza City’s Shati camp, the IDF and the Shin Bet confirmed in a joint statement.

The “three military operatives” of Hamas were “on their way to carry out terrorist activities in the central area of the Gaza Strip,” the IDF stated.

Contradicting Palestinian reports that three of Haniyeh’s grandchildren, including a minor, were also killed, the IDF said the “allegation… is known. This information is not verified by the IDF.”

Amir Haniyeh was a squad commander in the so-called Hamas military wing Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, while Hazem and Mohammad Haniyeh were lower-ranking military operatives.

One of them was involved in facilitating the captivity of the Israeli hostages held by Hamas, Army Radio reported.

Haniyeh, the political leader of Hamas, confirmed their deaths in comments made to Al Jazeera, telling the news outlet that he “thanks God for bestowing upon us the honor of their martyrdom.”

A video circulating online shows Haniyeh being told of his sons’ deaths while visiting a hospital in Qatar. He reacts calmly, thanking God before continuing to the next room.

Haniyeh added that nearly 60 members of his family had been “martyred” in the war and that he paid the same price as the rest of the Palestinian people. “All of Gaza’s citizens paid a price with the blood of their children, including me,” he said.

“Their pure blood is for the liberation of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa, and we will continue to march on our road, and will not hesitate and will not falter,” Haniyeh added. “With their blood, we bring about hope, a future, and freedom for our people and our cause.”

In a phone interview on the Al Jazeera TV network, Haniyeh vowed that Hamas would not surrender and that the deaths of his sons would not make it change its goals and demands in hostage release talks.

“Our demands are clear and specific, and we will not make concessions on them. The enemy will be delusional if it thinks that targeting my sons, at the climax of the negotiations and before the movement sends its response, will push Hamas to change its position,” he said, adding that “the blood of my sons is not dearer than the blood of our people.”

Haniyeh’s eldest son confirmed in a Facebook post that his three brothers were killed.

“Thanks to God who honored us by the martyrdom of my brothers, Hazem, Amir and Mohammad and their children,” wrote Abdel-Salam Haniyeh.

According to Al Jazeera, the three brothers were struck by a missile launched from a drone while traveling to congratulate relatives during the post-Ramadan Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which began Tuesday evening.

Israeli media reported that due to the time-sensitive nature of the strike, the decision was made by a colonel, while the senior army ranks as well as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant were only notified later.

Upon the news of his sons’ death, Haniyeh received condolence calls from leaders around the world, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

Three of Haniyeh's sisters live in the southern Israeli town of Tel Sheva and are married to Arab Israelis. Earlier in April, Israel Police arrested one of Haniyeh’s sisters, an Israeli citizen.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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