Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s recent remarks have raised concerns, particularly in regard to his statement that Palestinian civilians, including women, children, and the elderly, should be sacrificed to further the group’s fight against Israel. This statement has been widely criticized for its disregard for innocent lives.

In the remarks made during an address on Thursday, Haniyeh falsely accused Israel of committing a “new holocaust” against Palestinians in Gaza. 

He then called for an end to what he referred to as “aggression against Gaza.” 

“I call on everybody – all the free people of the world, all the friendly countries, all the brotherly [Arab] countries, and all the allies – to exert all the necessary pressure, in all directions and in all forums, in order to end the aggression against Gaza, to stop this war against our children, women, and elderly, our mosques, our universities, and our homes. This brutal aggression must stop. This new holocaust must stop,” he stated.

He went further, saying, “I have said this before, and I say it time again: The blood of the women, children, and elderly… I am not saying that this blood is calling for your [help],” he continued. “We are the ones who need this blood, so it awakens within us the revolutionary spirit, so it awakens within us resolve, so it awakens within us the spirit of challenge, and [pushes us] to move forward.”

Critics argue that these statements reflect a disturbing perspective, as he implies that the suffering of Palestinian civilians is key to the motivation for their cause. The idea is particularly disturbing considering Hamas has been using civilians in Gaza as human shields, with recent reports revealing that the terrorists are going as far as seizing residents’ car keys in order to stop them from fleeing the region as a ground invasion by the Israel Defense Forces looms.

Israel’s military actions in Gaza, on the other hand, have been in response to what was an unprecedented terrorist attack by Hamas on Oct. 7, resulting in the deaths of more than 1,400 and the hostage-taking of over 200 people.

The reported brutality of this attack, including beheadings of children, burning of infants, and violent assaults on women, has sparked international outrage.