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Israel-Hamas war: Sons of Hamas leader killed in airstrike

Published April 10, 2024last updated April 10, 2024

An Israeli strike in Gaza has killed three sons of Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh. Meanwhile, US President Biden has said he does not agree with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's approach to the war. DW has more.

A mangled car hit by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza
Onlookers check the car in which three sons of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh were reportedly killed by an Israeli air strike in Gaza City Image: AFP
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

  • Three sons of Hamas Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh killed in Israeli airstrike
  • Biden says Netanyahu's approach to war "mistake"
  • Israeli army launches further attacks on Hezbollah in Syria
  • Israel's Defense Minister says no date set for Rafah offensive

Here are the main headlines from Israel's war on Hamas on Wednesday, April 10:

Skip next section Israel to open new border crossing for aid into Gaza Strip
April 10, 2024

Israel to open new border crossing for aid into Gaza Strip

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced what he called "the next phase of the humanitarian campaign" that would "flood Gaza with aid."

"We plan to flood Gaza with aid, and we are expecting to reach 500 trucks per day," Gallant told reporters. He said Israel would "streamline security checks" that aid organizations blamed for limiting the flow of humanitarian aid to people in the Gaza Strip and would build a new border crossing into northern Gaza.

The steps come amid intense international pressure on Israel to allow more food, water and other supplies to enter Gaza. Last week, US President Joe Biden called for Israel to take "immediate action" to increase aid allowed into Gaza during a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Gallant did not specify when the new border crossing would be built or opened.

Gallant said Israel more than doubled the daily average of aid trucks crossing into Gaza over the last few days.

"We saw a record number of 467 trucks  and 303 air-dropped packages (Tuesday)," he said. "Last month the daily average was 213 and before that it was 170."

Before Israel's military operation in Gaza, which followed terror attacks by Hamas militants that killed 1,200 in southern Israel, about 500 trucks carrying aid entered the Palestinian enclave daily, according to the United Nations.

Skip next section Three sons of Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh killed in Israeli airstrike
April 10, 2024

Three sons of Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh killed in Israeli airstrike

Three sons of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh were killed in an Israeli airstrike, Israel's military said on Wednesday, confirming earlier media reports.

The Israeli military said the men conducted militant activity in central Gaza, without elaborating.

Haniyeh had announced the deaths of his sons Hazem, Amir and Mohammad in an interview with Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera.

He added that the deaths of three of his 13 children would not affect Hamas' cease-fire demands, as sensitive negotiations continue. 

"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 Al Jazeera.

He added it was "delusional" to think that such attacks would get Hamas to "change its position."

Three of Haniyeh's grandchildren were also reported killed in the strike. 

Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh is Hamas' political leader based in Qatar Image: Vahid Salemi/AP/dpa/picture alliance

Hamas-affiliated media said the strike targeted the Shati refugee camp, just northwest of Gaza City. The brothers were traveling with family members in a single vehicle, Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV said. 

Haniyeh, referring to Israel as a "criminal enemy driven by the spirit of revenge" also claimed that at least 60 members of his family have been killed since the start of the war, which was started after Hamas launched a terror attack on Israel, killing over 1,200 people. 

Haniyeh, a millionaire who now lives in Qatar, has regularly stated his refusal to recognize the state of Israel.

In 2018, he was designated an international terrorist by the US. Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by the US, Germany, Israel and several other governments. 

Will killing of Hamas leader's sons affect cease-fire talks?

Skip next section US-sanctioned Lebanese man found dead near Beirut
April 10, 2024

US-sanctioned Lebanese man found dead near Beirut

A Lebanese man sanctioned by the US over his dealings with Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran was found dead near Beirut, according to Lebanese media, along with reporting from AFP and AP news agencies.     

The body of 57-year-old Mohammad Srour was discovered in Beit Mery, a summer mountain resort town which overlooks the Lebanese capital. 

AP news agency reported, based on judicial sources, that Srour was lured into a woman's residence in Beit Mery, where he was then shot six times. The sources told AP that other people, not just the woman, might be tied to the killing.  

The US Treasury Department sanctioned Srour along with others in 2019 for transferring tens of millions of dollars annually from the Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force to Hamas'armed wing, the Qassam Brigades.    

Srour is believed to have worked for financial institutions tied to Hezbollah, such as the Washington-blacklisted Bayt al-Mal bank. The Bayt al-Mal institution is believed to be under the direct auspices of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.   

Skip next section UN seeks de-escalation of hostilities at Lebanese-Israeli border
April 10, 2024

UN seeks de-escalation of hostilities at Lebanese-Israeli border

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) put out a statement on the Islamic Eid al-Fitr holiday, seeking the de-escalation of hostilities at the Lebanese-Israeli border. 

"For the end of Ramadan, on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, UNIFIL calls for a return to the cessation of hostilities, and a move towards a permanent ceasefire and a long-term solution to the conflict," UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Aroldo Lazaro Saenz said. 

UNIFIL was set up in 1978 following the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. Israel temporarily invaded Lebanon that year to fight against the Palestine Liberation Organization, after Lebanon-based Palestinian militants hijacked a bus in Israel. 

UNIFIL serves as a peacekeeping mission to maintain security in southern Lebanon. UNIFIL has expressed heightened concerns over hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, a Shiite political party and paramilitary organization which operates in the region. 

Hezbollah has repeatedly threatened Israel amid the war in Gaza, sparking fears of a wider war in the Middle East region. The two sides have also exchanged frequent fire since October 7.  

UNIFIL peacekeepers wounded in Lebanon explosion

Hezbollah, which is designated as a terror group by the US, Germany and others, receives significant financing and weapons support from Iran. Hezbollah also has a presence in Syria in addition to Lebanon. 

Skip next section Gaza Palestinians mark Eid al-Fitr amid war
April 10, 2024

Gaza Palestinians mark Eid al-Fitr amid war

Gaza Palestinians take part in Eid al-Fitr prayers in Rafah on April 10, 2024
Gaza Palestinians are trying to still celebrate Eid despite the dire conditions they faceImage: Mohammed Salem/REUTERS

Muslim Palestinians in Gaza are observing the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which ends the 30-day religious fasting period of Ramadan

The vast majority of Gaza's nearly 2 million people are Sunni Muslim, although there is a small Christian minority.

Worshippers typically begin the Eid holiday with a morning prayer, known as the Eid Salah.  

Eid al-Fitr is typically a joyous occasion, with Muslims consuming sweets and handing out money to children. 

This year, however, Palestinians in Gaza face dire humanitarian conditions, with food and water in short supply. The UN has warned that famine is imminent in Gaza, with insufficient food aid entering the territory due to Israeli restrictions at border controls.

Moreover, much of Gaza's infrastructure and housing has been ravaged by Israel's war against Hamas.

More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since the Gaza war began just over six months ago, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-run, making the holiday an especially somber occasion for many bereaved families. 

War in Gaza overshadows Eid celebrations

Skip next section Iran supreme leader again threatens Israel over killing of generals
April 10, 2024

Iran supreme leader again threatens Israel over killing of generals

Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei again threatened Israel following the killings of several Iranian generals in Syria.  

On April 1, airstrikes destroyed Iran's consular building in Damascus, leaving 12 people dead. Seven Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps members died in the attack, among them two generals. 

"When they attacked our consulate area, it was like they attacked our territory," Khamenei said in remarks made on state TV to mark the end of Ramadan while adding that Israel "will be punished."

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian leaves after the inauguration of a new Iranian consular building in Damascus
Iran was forced to open a new consular building in Damascus after the attackImage: Omar Sanadiki/AP Photo/picture alliance

Israel has not publicly claimed responsiblity for the April 1 strike in the Syrian capital. Iran earlier alleged that the US approved the Damascus attack.     

Israel said on Wednesday that it does not take the threats from Iran lightly. 

Iran has many ways to respond to Israeli strike: Hans-Jakob Schindler, Counter Extremism Project

"If Iran attacks from its territory, Israel will respond and attack Iran," Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz wrote in a post on X, which was published in both Hebrew and Persian. 

Skip next section Spanish PM Sanchez says recognizing Palestinian state 'in Europe's interests'
April 10, 2024

Spanish PM Sanchez says recognizing Palestinian state 'in Europe's interests'

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Wednesday called Israel's response in the Gaza war against Hamas "disproportionate," and said it could end up "destabilizing the Middle East, and as a consequence, the entire world," while speaking to the parliament.

Sanchez, one of the most critical voices against Israel in Europe, said the recognition of a Palestinian state is "in Europe's geopolitical interests." During his Middle East tour last week, he had indicated that Madrid will be ready to recognize Palestinian statehood by the end of June.

"I expect and demand that the Israeli government clarify as soon as possible the circumstances of this brutal attack that has taken the lives of seven aid workers who were doing nothing but helping," Sanchez said during a visit to a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan

Spain demands answers over Gaza aid workers' deaths

Skip next section Israel's defense minister says no date set for Rafah assault — reports
April 10, 2024

Israel's defense minister says no date set for Rafah assault — reports

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told his US counterpart Lloyd Austin on a call that there is no date yet for a ground assault in the Gazan city of Rafah, according to media reports. 

He said Israel was still in the process of planning the evacuation of civilians, AxiosHaaretz and The Times of Israel reported, citing sources.

Gallant's comments, if confirmed, would contradict a previous statement by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has repeatedly said the offensive in Rafah will go ahead despite widespread international condemnation.

Netanyahu, who is facing pressure from far-right supporters, had announced the finalization of a planned offensive on Rafah, where over a million Palestinians have taken refuge.

The Israeli prime minister has not specified when the date of the Rafah offensive would be, only that he had one.

Washington has spoken against Israel's plans for a large-scale offensive, saying it will put civilian lives at risk. US officials are set to meet an Israeli delegation next week to discuss this move, said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Israel pulls troops from southern Gaza

Skip next section Israel strikes Hezbollah targets in Syria
April 10, 2024

Israel strikes Hezbollah targets in Syria

The Israeli Defense Forces announced in a post on X that they had attacked positions of the pro-Iranian Hezbollah militia in Syria. 

"The IDF holds the Syrian regime accountable for all activities that take place within its territory and will not allow for any attempted actions which could lead to the entrenchment of Hezbollah on the Syrian front," the statement said. 

Israel has carried out strikes on Hezbollah and Hamas targets — both designated terror organizations by the US, Israel and Germany — in Lebanon and Syria since October 7.

A recent strike on the Iranian embassy in Damascus which killed two generals of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps drew international criticism amid fears that the conflict in Gaza could grow into a regional war involving Iran and its proxies.

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the strike.

Skip next section Biden calls Netanyahu's approach to war a 'mistake'
April 10, 2024

Biden calls Netanyahu's approach to war a 'mistake'

US President Joe Biden called Israel's approach to the war a "mistake" during an interview carried out on April 3, two days after an Israeli strike killed seven aid workers in Gaza, that was published late on Tuesday.

"I think what he's doing is a mistake. I don't agree with his approach," Biden told Spanish-language TV network Univision.

Highlighting a recent change in his stance, Biden urged Netanyahu to call for a ceasefire and "allow for the next six, eight weeks, total access to all food and medicine going into the country."

"It should be done now," he added.

Biden has faced some domestic backlash for his initial position in support of Israel, but his tone has grown more critical as the number of people killed in Gaza — mostly women and children — has continued to increase, reaching at least 33,360 on Tuesday according to figures from the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run enclave.

The Israeli government is also facing a deadline from its Supreme Court on Wednesday to explain what it has done to increase to flow of aid to Gaza. The administration insists it has complied with international demands, and is not constricting aid supplies.

Israel announces steps to let more aid into Gaza

tg/ab (Reuters, AFP, dpa, AP)