Despite lopsided losses and severe damage to its military infrastructure, Hamas supporters claim “victory” over Israel.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of Gaza early Friday, shooting in the air and celebrating what the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups called their “victory” over Israel following a ceasefire that took effect at 2 a.m.
In the city of Ramallah, north of Jerusalem, thousands of Palestinians shouted “with fire and blood we redeemed Gaza” and waved Hamas flags, while in the Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm and in the eastern half of Jerusalem, Arabs launched fireworks and waved Palestinian flags.
In Gaza, Hamas deputy leader Khalil al-Haya emerged from hiding and declared that the ceasefire was a “victory” for the organization.
“It is true that the battle ends today, but Netanyahu and the whole world need to know that we have the trigger and that we will continue to expand our resistance capabilities,” al-Haya said.
In large celebrations reminiscent of Palestinian festivities following deals for the release of Palestinian security prisoners, cars filled the streets of Gaza. Many drivers honked and waved flags from the windows. Other residents fired bullets into the air, detonated explosives and threw firecrackers.
In a statement on its Telegram channel, Palestinian Islamic Jihad spokesman spokesman Abu Hamza said the holy war with Israel will continue.
“The sound of rockets, cannons and gunpowder has stopped. Our long march will not stop, and our arduous path of jihad will continue,” Abu Hamza said. “We defeated Netanyahu and the leadership of his defeated army.”
Abu Hamza claimed that the massive rocket salvos and mortar fired had turned the Israeli communities around Gaza into “an unlivable place.”
In the 11 days of fighting, 12 people in Israel were killed and several hundred wounded by 4,300 rockets and mortars fired by the Iran-backed Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups. Quoting Hamas officials in Gaza, Reuters reported 232 Palestinians had been killed and more than 1,900 wounded, while Israel said it had killed at least 160 combatants.
Israel Channel 11 veteran Arab affairs correspondent Gal Berger noted sarcastically earlier this week than even if Gaza had been completely destroyed, a Hamas terrorist would still rise from the grave clutching an AK-47 and declare “victory.”
Writing in Makor Rishon, journalist Asaf Gabor noted that “it is very easy for Hamas to produce a picture of victory.”
“The dictatorial organization [Hamas] that controls the Gaza Strip does not allow for internal criticism or political opposition. A journalist who dares to paint a picture other than victory will find himself in the torture cellars of Hamas or simply [buried] underground,” Gabor wrote.