Hamas leader Khalil al-Haya fondly kissed the bloodied head of his son Hamza in a Gaza morgue Thursday, saying he was proud that his son had given his life for the Hamas cause and joined a long line of family members killed in the conflict with Israel.
Hamza died in an Israeli air strike Thursday morning as he led a squad firing rockets against Israeli towns, Hamas said.
''I thank God for this gift,'' Khalil al-Haya said. ''This is the 10th member of my family to receive the honor of martyrdom.'' Al-Haya has himself escaped attempts on his life, including an Israeli strike last May that killed two of his brothers and six other relatives gathered at a family home. Al-Haya was not in the building at the time.
''This is a part of our people's path and, God willing, our people will achieve victory,'' Khalil al-Haya said.
Last month the son of Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas strongman, was killed by shrapnel in a battle with Israeli forces on the outskirts of Gaza City. The son, Hussam Zahar, was described as a field commander for the group. In 2003 an older brother was killed in a botched Israeli attempt to assassinate his father.
IAF strikes near Haniyeh's Gaza house
Meanwhile on Thursday an Israeli missile struck a police post about 150 yards from the home of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail. Officials from the ruling Islamist group said the house was not damaged.
Hospital officials said that two gunmen and three civilians were wounded when the missile struck the Hamas-controlled police position in the Beach refugee camp.
The IDF has yet to confirm the strike, which did not appear to have targeted Haniyeh.