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Grieving Ismail Haniyeh: Interests of Palestinians our only priority

The grieving Hamas political bureau chief says the interests of the Palestinian people are placed ahead of everything else in the ceasefire talks with Israel.

Ismail Haniyeh commented when the Reuters news agency asked him if the recent murder of his sons and grandchildren in an Israeli terrorist strike would impact negotiations with Israel.

Haniyeh said Israel is still procrastinating and evading a response to the resistance movement’s demands.

“We are seeking to reach a deal but the occupation is still procrastinating and evading a response to the demands,” he told Reuters in a reference to the Gaza ceasefire and hostage exchange talks which are underway.

He also denied Israeli claims that his sons were fighters in the resistance movement, saying the regime resorts to lies to justify its crime.

Negotiations on a ceasefire, which would also include a deal on Israeli captives in Gaza, have been underway in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

A senior Hamas official said the group needs a ceasefire to have enough time to locate Israeli hostages held across Gaza and ascertain their fate.

Bassem Naim said the captives are held in different places by different groups and some of them are under the rubble, killed along with Palestinians during Israeli strikes.

The assassinations of Haniyeh’s three sons and four grandchildren came at a time when Hamas was preparing a response to Israel’s proposal for a Gaza ceasefire delivered through mediators during the negotiations in Cairo.

Earlier in his remarks, Haniyeh said killing his sons would only make Hamas “more steadfast in our principles and adherence to our land.”

The resistance group, he added, would “not surrender, and […] not compromise […] no matter how great our sacrifices are.”

The Hamas leader also noted that around 60 members of his family, including nieces and nephews, have been martyred during the Gaza onslaught.

“All our people and all the families of Gaza have paid a heavy price in blood, and I am one of them,” he said.

Israel kills 3 sons of Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza

Israel kills 3 sons of Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza

Haniyeh’s grandchildren were also killed in the airstrike that targeted a vehicle in al-Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza.

Haniyeh further decried Israel’s brutality in Gaza, saying the regime is conducting a war of ethnic cleansing and genocide on the besieged territory.

“There is no doubt that this criminal enemy is driven by the spirit of revenge and the spirit of murder and bloodshed, and it does not observe any standards or laws,” he stressed.

Israel waged its bloody US-backed war on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas carried out its historic operation against the usurping entity in retaliation for the regime’s intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

So far, the occupying regime has killed at least 33,482 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 76,049 others.

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