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Erdoğan offers condolences to Hamas leader for sons’ killings in Gaza: presidency

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday offered condolences in a phone call to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh after the death of his three sons in Gaza, Agence France-Presse reported, citing the president’s office.

Erdoğan told Haniyeh, “Israel will definitely be held accountable before the law for the crimes against humanity it committed,” the presidency said in a statement on social media.

Haniyeh, who is based in Qatar, told Al Jazeera network that three of his sons and some of his grandchildren were killed in an Israeli strike.

Haniyeh said the deadly strike would fail to force Hamas’s hand in negotiations toward a truce and hostage release.

Erdoğan, who forged friendly ties with Haniyeh, has been one of the most virulent critics of Israel since the start of the war in Gaza, following the October 7 attack by Hamas in Israel that claimed 1,170 lives, mostly civilians, Israeli figures show.

Israel has responded with a relentless ground and air offensive that the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said has killed at least 33,482 people in the besieged Palestinian enclave, mostly women and children.

Erdoğan has called Israel a “terrorist state” and accused it of conducting a “genocide” in Gaza. He has called Hamas “liberators,” or “mujahideen,” fighting for their land.

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