*** ----> Sons of Hamas leader killed in Gaza | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Sons of Hamas leader killed in Gaza

AFP | Palestine       

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

The leader of Hamas said yesterday Israel had killed three of his sons in an air strike in Gaza as the war in the Palestinian territory raged despite ongoing truce negotiations in Cairo.

Qatar-based Ismail Haniyeh said his three sons and "some of" his grandchildren had been killed in the strike in an interview with Al Jazeera.

The strike came as talks in Cairo aimed at a ceasefire and a hostage release deal dragged on without signs of a breakthrough. Israel did not immediately comment on the strike. The United States has been ramping up pressure on Israel to agree to a truce, increase the amount of aid it allows into the Gaza Strip and abandon plans to invade the southern city of Rafah.

US President Joe Biden labelled Israel's conduct of the war a "mistake" in an interview broadcast on Tuesday. Wednesday marked the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, with Gazans gathering to pray amid the devastation of the six-month war.

Tens of thousands also flocked to Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound where one worshipper, nurse Rawan Abd, said: "It's the saddest Eid ever... you could see the sadness on people's faces."

Israeli forces meanwhile kept up combat operations and air strikes in Gaza, a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed no let-up in the campaign to destroy Hamas and bring home the hostages. Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz said on Wednesday that militarily “Hamas is defeated”, but insisted that Israeli troops would nevertheless enter Rafah and return to Khan Yunis, from which they withdrew last week.

The army would have to fight for years to come “in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank and in the Lebanon front”, he added. More than 1.5 million civilians are sheltering from the war in Rafah, the last Gazan city yet to face an Israeli ground invasion.