The house of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was the target of an Israeli missile, early this morning. Reports say there was no one inside the house and there were no casualties. Haniyeh’s son confirmed the strike on his Facebook page.The 51-year-old Haniyeh was Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority from March 2006 to July 2007, but was dismissed from office by Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during the peak of the Fatah-Hamas conflict. Haniyeh refused to recognize this ruling and has since been exercising prime ministerial powers in the Gaza Strip.
In a statement made after the attack on his house, Haniyeh said, ‘My house is not more valuable than the houses of other people, destroying stones will not break our determination.’
Israel also targeted Hamas media outlets al-Aqsa TV and al-Aqsa radio. Missiles struck their offices this morning. The building also hosted several other Arab satellite television news channels. Although the radio station ceased broadcasting, the television station continued.
These attacks are just a part of an increased wave of violence since the start of Eid ul-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan. A Hamas-run health organization reported that ten people, including nine under the age of 12, were killed and dozens more were injured by a blast in a Shati refugee camp park near Gaza City. Hamas and Israel are blaming each other for the attack.
“There were heads off bodies, shoulders half torn, hands gone, chests opened,” recalled one survivor of the blast.
As the international community continues to urge both sides to accept a ceasefire, Hamas says that will not relent until Gaza’s border with Egypt is opened and Israel will not accept a ceasefire without the demilitarization of the Gaza Strip.