Israeli airstrike in Gaza kills 3 sons and 4 grandchildren of top Hamas leader

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh speaks during a press briefing after his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, March 26, 2024.
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh speaks during a press briefing after his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, March 26, 2024. Copyright AP Photo/Vahid Salemi
Copyright AP Photo/Vahid Salemi
By Euronews with AP
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All the latest developments on the Israel Hamas war


Three sons of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh were killed on Wednesday in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip official Hamas media said. Four of the leader's grandchildren were also killed.

Haniyeh confirmed the deaths in an interview with the Al Jazeera satellite channel, saying his sons “were martyred on the road to liberating Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Haniyeh’s sons are among the highest-profile figures to be killed in the war so far. 

Israel said they were Hamas operatives, and Haniyeh accused Israel of acting in “the spirit of revenge and murder.”

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

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

The deaths threaten to strain the internationally mediated ceasefire talks, which appeared to gain steam in recent days even as the sides remain far apart on key issues.

Ismail Haniyeh lives in exile in Qatar, where Al Jazeera is based.

He said the killings would not pressure Hamas into softening its positions. The two sides have been involved in months of ceasefire talks.

The slayings also come as Israel is under intensifying pressure - increasingly from its top ally, the U.S. - to change tack in the war, especially when it comes to humanitarian aid for desperate people in Gaza.

Biden: Netanyahu making a 'mistake' in Gaza

US President Joe Biden has criticised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach to Gaza. 

“I think what he’s doing is a mistake," he said in an interview. "I don’t agree with his approach.” 

Biden’s remarks were some of his strongest criticism yet of Netayhanu, as tensions between Israel and its principal ally soar over the mounting death toll in Gaza. 

The Democrat leader also called for a ceasefire, warning US support depended on whether Israel would allow in more aid to the Palestinian enclave. 

He called an Israeli drone attack that killed seven aid workers with World Central Kitchen last week “outrageous”.

The hour-long interview was recorded last Wednesday and it aired on Tuesday night on US Spanish-language network Univision.

“What I’m calling for is for the Israelis to just call for a ceasefire, allow for the next six, eight weeks, total access to all food and medicine going into the country,” said Biden.

“There’s no excuse to not provide for the medical and the food needs of those people. It should be done now.”


Gaza sparks trade dispute between Turkey and Israel

Turkey and Israel have slapped trade barriers on one another as relations plummet over the war in Gaza. 

Ankara on Tuesday announced export restrictions on 54 types of products to Israel with immediate effect, including metals, jet fuel and chemical fertilisers. 

Israel said it was preparing a ban on Turkish products in response. 

The announcements came a day after Israel barred Turkish military cargo planes from airdropping aid into Gaza. 

“There is no excuse for Israel to block our attempt to deliver aid by air to starving people of Gaza,” said Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Hakan Fidan. 


Stung by a local election loss last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan faced intense pressure from voters to halt trade with Israel. 

Critics accuse Ankara of double standards by denouncing Israel yet continuing lucrative commercial relations.

Erdogan has said Israel’s actions in Gaza verge on “genocide” and called Hamas - deemed a terrorist organisation by Israel, the United States and the European Union - freedom fighters.

In a post on X, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said Erdogan was “once again sacrificing the economic interests of the people of Turkey for his support of the Hamas murderers in Gaza.”

He claimed he had asked US organisations to stop investing in Turkey and importing Turkish goods.

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