IDF also hits Hamas operatives at Gaza City university

Sister of Hamas chief Haniyeh, 9 others said killed in IDF strike in Gaza

Military doesn’t comment on attack, but says it separately struck two schools in Gaza City where October 7 terrorists were gathered

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Men search through the rubble of the house of the sister of Ismail Haniyeh, the Doha-based political bureau chief of the Hamas, after it was hit by an alleged IDF strike in Gaza City's Shati camp, June 25, 2024. (Omar Al-Qattaa/AFP)
Men search through the rubble of the house of the sister of Ismail Haniyeh, the Doha-based political bureau chief of the Hamas, after it was hit by an alleged IDF strike in Gaza City's Shati camp, June 25, 2024. (Omar Al-Qattaa/AFP)

The sister of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, along with nine other members of their extended family were killed in an alleged Israeli airstrike in Gaza City early Tuesday, the terror group and media outlets in the Strip said.

The Israel Defense Forces had no comment on the attack on the Haniyeh family home in Gaza City’s Shati camp when contacted by The Times of Israel.

Hamas said that 10 people were killed in the strike in Shati, including the sister of the Hamas leader. Hamas-linked media outlets in Gaza said all 10 were members of the Haniyeh family.

Haniyeh, the Hamas political leader, largely lives in exile in Doha, Qatar. Three of his sons, who the IDF alleged were terror operatives, and four of his grandchildren were killed in an Israeli strike in April. Another granddaughter was killed in a strike during November, in the early weeks of the war.

Earlier this year, another of Haniyeh’s sisters, who lives in Israel, was arrested in April on suspicion of contact with operatives from the terror group and supporting acts of terror.

Meanwhile, the IDF said Hamas terrorists who had participated in the October 7 onslaught and were involved in holding hostages were targeted in separate overnight airstrikes in Gaza City.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh speaks during a press briefing after his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Tehran, Iran, March 26, 2024. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

The IDF said fighter jets struck two buildings, in Gaza City’s Shati camp and Daraj neighborhood, that it said were used by Hamas. It said the Hamas operatives were based out of school compounds.

One of the schools, in Shati, was under UNRWA management.

“The terrorists were involved in planning many terror attacks against Israel, and some of them were involved in holding hostages and participating in the massacre on October 7,” the IDF said in a statement.

The military said it carried out aerial surveillance, used “precision munitions,” and employed other intelligence to mitigate harm to civilians in the strikes.

“The Hamas terrorist organization continuously violates international law by systematically exploiting civilian structures and using the civilian population as human shields for its terror activity against Israel,” the IDF added.

According to Hamas and media reports in Gaza, eight members of the same family were killed in the Daraj strike.

Palestinians search through debris in the yard of the Asma school run by UNRWA, in Gaza City’s Shati camp, in the aftermath of overnight Israeli strike the IDF says targeted Hamas terrorists, on June 25, 2024 (Omar AL-QATTAA / AFP)

A military spokesperson confirmed to The Times of Israel that the two strikes in Gaza City were unrelated to the reports of a strike on the Haniyeh family home.

In a separate strike, the military announced Tuesday that fighter jets struck a building at Gaza City’s Islamic University the previous day, where it said Hamas operatives were gathered.

According to the IDF, the university building in the Gaza City neighborhood of Sabra was used by Hamas operatives to launch anti-tank missiles, observe Israeli troops, and plan other attacks.

Before the airstrike, the IDF said it took “many steps,” including aerial surveillance, to mitigate the potential harm to civilians.

A picture taken on February 15, 2024, shows the heavily damaged building of the Islamic University in Gaza City. (AFP)

Other strikes were carried out in Gaza over the past day.

In southern Gaza’s Rafah, the military said troops killed several gunmen, and a drone struck several sites used by terror groups, including tunnels.

The IDF said fighter jets also struck buildings in northern Gaza near a rocket launching site used in an attack on southern Israel by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Several more targets, including weapon depots and cells of operatives, were struck in central Gaza, the IDF added.

IDF troops operate in the Gaza Strip in a photo cleared for publication on June 24, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

The war began on October 7 when thousands of Hamas terrorists attacked southern Israel under a barrage of rockets fired at population centers all over the country. They brutally killed 1,200 people, amid multiple instances of torture and rape, and seized 251 hostages. Israel swiftly declared war on Hamas, vowing to topple the terror group’s regime in Gaza and free the hostages.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says more than 37,500 people in the Strip have been killed or are presumed dead in the fighting so far, though the toll cannot be verified and does not differentiate between civilians and fighters. Israel says it has killed some 15,000 combatants in battle and some 1,000 terrorists inside Israel during the October 7 attack.

Gianluca Pacchiani contributed to this report.

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