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Israel indicts Hamas leader’s sister for ‘inciting terrorism’

April 22, 2024 at 8:51 am

Hamas Political Bureau Chairman Ismail Haniyeh in Istanbul, Turkiye on April 20, 2024. [Cem Tekkeşinoğlu – Anadolu Agency]

Israel’s State Attorney yesterday indicted the sister of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on charges of incitement and showing solidarity with the movement, after she allegedly praised Hamas’ cross-border incursion on 7 October, Reuters reported.

Sabah Al-Salem Haniyeh, 57, lives in southern Israel and is an Israeli citizen. She has been held in custody since her arrest on 1 April, Israel’s Justice Ministry said. There was no immediate comment from her lawyer.

According to the indictment, in the days after 7 October, Sabah sent messages to dozens of contacts, including to her brother, via WhatsApp praising the cross-border attack and calling for further “slaughter”.

One of her messages said: “Oh God, count them and kill them and don’t leave any of them, Oh God.”  Sabah has denied sending the messages, saying she does not know who wrote the messages because many members of the family use her phone. Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir is believed to have triggered the investigation and subsequent indictment of Sabah.

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