Ismail Haniyeh’s three sons killed in Israeli strike

Published April 13, 2024
Jamaat-i-Islami’s Muhammad Hussain Mehanti leads the funeral prayers in absentia of Ismail Haniyeh’s three sons in Karachi.—Reuters
Jamaat-i-Islami’s Muhammad Hussain Mehanti leads the funeral prayers in absentia of Ismail Haniyeh’s three sons in Karachi.—Reuters

CAIRO: Three sons of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh were killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, the family said.

The Israeli military confirmed carrying out the attack, describing the three as operatives in Hamas’ armed wing.

The three — Hazem, Amir and Mohammad — were killed when the car they were driving in was bombed in Gaza’s Al-Shati camp. Four of Mr Haniyeh’s grandchildren, three girls and a boy, were also killed in the attack.

The three sons and four grandchildren were making family visits during the first day of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday in Shati, their home refugee camp in Gaza City, according to relatives. “The blood of my sons is not dearer than the blood of our people,” Haniyeh, 61, who has 13 sons and daughters according to Hamas sources, told pan-Arab Al Jazeera TV.

Funeral prayers offered for slain men in absentia in Karachi, JUI-F chief writes to Hamas leader

Meanwhile, Israeli media reports on Thursday suggested that the strike was carried out without consulting senior commanders or political leaders, including embattled PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

Quoting senior Israeli officials, the Walla news agency said neither Netanyahu nor Defence Minister Yoav Gallant had been told in advance of the strike, which was coordinated by the Israeli military and the Shin Bet intelligence service.

Grief in Pakistan

The killing of Mr Haniyeh’s sons saw an outpouring of grief in Pakistan, with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman writing to Mr Haniyeh to condole over the deaths and the Jamaat-i-Islami offering funeral prayers in absentia.

In his letter to the Hamas chief on Thursday, Mr Rehman said targeting families and children of Hamas leaders was an “admission of failure” by Israel, Arab News reported.

“The blood of these martyrs will not go in vain,” he said. “We support Hamas’ efforts in the fight [against Israeli occupation of Palestine].”

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2024

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