Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip ErdoganREUTERS/Umit Bektas

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday offered condolences in a phone call to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh after three of his sons were eliminated in an Israeli air strike in Gaza.

"Israel will definitely be held accountable before the law for the crimes against humanity it committed", Erdogan told Haniyeh, according to the AFP news agency.

Haniyeh, who is based in Qatar, told Al Jazeera that three of his sons and some of his grandchildren were killed in an Israeli strike, adding the strike would fail to force Hamas's hand in negotiations towards a truce and hostage release.

The IDF later confirmed that IAF aircraft, directed by IDF and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) intelligence, struck three Hamas military operatives that conducted terrorist activity in the central Gaza Strip.

The IDF confirmed that the three operatives are the sons of Ismail Haniyeh, chairman of Hamas's political bureau.

One of Haniyeh’s three sons was involved in holding Israeli hostages.

Erdogan’s support for Hamas is not surprising. While Israel and Turkey formally announced in August of 2022 that they would normalize relations by returning the ambassadors and consuls, after years of tensions, Erdogan has resumed his frequent verbal attacks on Israel since the start of the war in Gaza.

In one speech, the Turkish President said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “committed one of the greatest atrocities of this century in Gaza and has already put his name down in history as the butcher of Gaza."

Last month, Erdogan again lashed out at Israel and at Netanyahu, saying they are “like today’s Nazis.”

Foreign Minister Israel Katz later summoned the Turkish deputy ambassador for a reprimand in the wake of Erdogan's attacks on Netanyahu.