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Hamas says Israeli airstrike kills 3 sons of the group's political leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza

Palestinians celebrate Eid al-Fitr amid war
Palestinians celebrate Eid al-Fitr amid war 02:15

Three sons of Hamas' most senior political leader, Ismail Haniyeh, were killed Wednesday in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip, according to relatives and Hamas media channels. Haniyeh himself acknowledged the death of more family members, and he warned Israel that it would not "break the resolve of our people."

Ameer, Hazem and Mohammed Haniyeh were killed near the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, Hamas said.  

In a statement released Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces said it killed "three Hamas military operatives that conducted terrorist activity in the central Gaza Strip."  The IDF claimed that Ameer Haniyeh was a cell commander in the Hamas military wing, while Mohammad Haniyeh and Hazem Haniyeh were military operatives.

Hamas said the strike hit a vehicle near a home belonging to the Haniyeh family.

"All the people of Gaza paid a high price and saw the blood of their sons being shed, and I am one of them," Haniyeh told the Al Jazeera network in a live interview Wednesday. He said a number of his grandchildren were also killed, and the group had been targeted when they were visiting relatives for Eid, according to Al Jazeera.

"The occupation thinks that by targeting sons of the leaders, they will break the resolve of our people," Haniyeh said. "We will not retreat, and we are going to go all the way to liberate Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa."

Palestinian group Hamas' top leader, Ismail Haniyeh and Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian attend a press conference in Tehran
Palestinian group Hamas' top political leader Ismail Haniyeh speaks during a press conference in Tehran, Iran, March 26, 2024. Majid Asgaripour/WANA/REUTERS

He said 60 members of his family had been killed since Israel launched its war in Gaza against Hamas, which was sparked by the group's bloody Oct. 7 terror attack. 

Israel and the U.S. have long considered Hamas a terrorist organization, but it is also one of the two main Palestinian political factions. Haniyeh, as the head of the group's politburo, has been based for years at its office in Qatar, where he lives.

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