By Athena Papakosta

Three sons and four grandsons of the Hamas leaderIsmail Haniyeh, were killed yesterday, Wednesday, in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip with the leader of the Islamist organization accusing Israel of a vengeful and deadly strike.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Ismail Haniyeh explained that his sons Hazem, Amir and Mohammed and some of their children were visiting relatives in the Shaati refugee camp to celebrate Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

As he mentioned, a total of 60 of his relatives have lost their lives since the start of the war last October with 14 of them being killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City last October.

Hamas’ top political leader went on to clarify that the latest attack is not going to change the Islamist group’s positions and demands for a permanent ceasefire and the return of displaced Palestinians to their homes.

“The blood of my sons is not more expensive than the blood of our people,” he said.

For its part, Israel did not confirm the strike until later.

He was preceded by the president of the United States, Joe Bidenwho emphasized that the way the Israeli Prime Minister’s government conducts Benjamin Netanyahu military operations in the Gaza Strip are a “mistake” to add that he disagrees with his approach.

“What I’m asking is that the Israelis declare a ceasefire (and) allow for the next six or eight weeks full access to the food and medicine that is being transported,” the US president said in his harshest criticism yet against Israel. . It has, after all, been preceded by the deadly attack on aid workers a week ago.

The Israeli Armed Forces (IDF) in a tactical move announced on Sunday that they were withdrawing their military forces from the southern part of the Gaza Strip, raising new questions about the future of the war that has now entered its 7th month.

For his part, Benny Gantz, a member of Israel’s war council, made it clear that “victory will come step by step” reiterating that there will be a ground attack on Rafah and that the war will be long.

At the same time, the risk of the war in Gaza turning into a wider regional conflict remains.

Ten days have passed since the assassination of the leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Mohammad Reza Zahedi, in a bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus that Tehran blames on Israel.

Israel’s Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, in a post yesterday on the X platform, formerly Twitter, threatened Iran with a direct hit if Tehran launched an attack against Israel from its territory while, earlier, Iran’s supreme religious leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei repeated his promise of “punishment” for the Damascus strike.