Israeli Jets Attack House of Hamas Leader, Ismail Haniyeh

Haniyeh was not in Gaza at the time of the attack: reports
  • Bureau
  • 07:49 AM, November 16, 2023
  • 493
Israeli Jets Attack House of Hamas Leader, Ismail Haniyeh
Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh

Israeli fighter jets targeted the Gaza home of Ismail Haniyeh, leader of Hamas's political wing, overnight.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed the strike in an “X” post, stating that Haniyeh's residence served as "terror infrastructure" and a meeting place for senior Hamas officials.

The fate of Haniyeh is currently unknown.

This comes amid Israel's ongoing campaign in Palestinian territories, particularly Gaza, where thousands have been killed in daily bombings.

Haniyeh, residing in Qatar since 2019, was not in Gaza at the time of the attack, local sources were quoted as saying by reports.

The IDF released footage of the airstrike, which they claim is the first confirmed strike on Haniyeh's house. Additionally, Israeli forces located and destroyed a Hamas naval weapons cache, including diving gear and explosives.

Reports earlier this month suggested the death of Haniyeh's granddaughter in an airstrike, but the IDF did not comment on those claims. In a previous incident on November 4, an Israeli drone targeted Haniyeh's Gaza residence.

About Ismail Haniyeh

Ismail Haniyeh, born in Gaza's al-Shati refugee camp in 1961, first became Hamas chief in 2017 and was re-elected in 2021 to lead until 2025, succeeding Khaled Mashaal's leadership since 1996. A Muslim Brotherhood activist during the First Intifada, Haniyeh was arrested multiple times.

Israeli Jets Attack House of Hamas Leader, Ismail Haniyeh
Heavily-armed Israeli fighter @IAF

In 1992, Israel deported around 400 senior figures in Hamas, including Haniyeh, to southern Lebanon. They established a camp near Israeli-controlled territory, gaining international attention. Israel later allowed most deportees, including Haniyeh, to return.

Returning to Gaza, Haniyeh rose through Hamas ranks, becoming close to Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, Hamas’s spiritual leader, until Yassin's 2004 assassination by Israel. After Hamas's 2006 electoral victory, Haniyeh led the unity government between Hamas and Fatah, then headed Hamas's Gaza division before becoming the group’s leader.

The United States Treasury Department placed Haniyeh on its terrorism blacklist in 2018, citing his close links to Hamas’s military wing and advocacy for armed struggle, including against civilians. The State Department noted his reported involvement in terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens, with Hamas responsible for an estimated 17 American lives lost in terrorist attacks.

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