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HomeWorldMiddle EastNo change in truce position after Hamas leader’s sons killed, Haniyeh says

No change in truce position after Hamas leader’s sons killed, Haniyeh says

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said the deaths of his three sons and four grandchildren in an Israeli airstrike would not affect Gaza truce talks as Thursday’s bombing shook the Palestinian territory, Arab media reported.

Speaking to Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera, Haniyeh suggested that the strike, which killed his three sons and four grandchildren, was an attempt to change Hamas’ negotiating position. He said:

If they think that this will force Hamas to change its positions, they are delusional.

US President Joe Biden said Hamas “needs to move” on the latest truce offer, which the militants say is being studied.

Israel’s main international ally the US is also stepping up pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept a truce, increase aid to the besieged Gaza Strip and abandon plans to invade the southern city of Rafah.

Biden called Netanyahu’s handling of the war a “mistake” in an interview broadcast on Tuesday and warned on Wednesday that Israel was not allowing enough aid into the territory.

Despite calls for a ceasefire, Israel pounded the Gaza Strip early Thursday, particularly in the territory’s south, witnesses said.

The war began after Hamas attacked Israel on 7 October, killing 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to Israel. Hamas also took about 250 hostages, 129 of whom remain in Gaza, including 34 who were killed, according to the Israeli army. Israel’s retaliatory offensive in Gaza killed at least 33,482 people, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

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