Senior Hamas official: Israel can no longer do what it wants in Gaza

Hamas claims it proved its military prowess in last week’s shootout with an IDF undercover unit. 

By Jack Gold, World Israel News Staff

Hamas has declared the recent round of violence with Israel as a victory for the terrorist organization, saying it was successful in thwarting the IDF’s plans.

In an interview with Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV on Sunday, Hamas official Khalil al-Haya described the Israeli operation in Gaza, during which IDF Lt. Col. M. was killed and another IDF officer wounded, as a victory for Hamas.

Six Hamas terrorists, including a senior officer, were also killed in the shootout.

“The IDF attempted to plant listening devices [in Gaza], but the Palestinian resistance stood guard,” al-Haya stated.

A week after the botched IDF secret reconnaissance operation on the outskirts of Khan Younis, Hamas continues to present the deadly clash as a great success for the terror group.

On Friday, Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, brandished a handgun he claimed was recovered during the operation.

Al-Haya, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, said in the interview that “the Israeli army tried to carry out a major security attack, apparently by planting listening devices, but the Palestinian resistance thwarted Israel’s plans.”

His assertion negates an earlier statement by Hamas that the Israeli force was on an assassination or abduction mission. It concurs with Israel’s version of the events that the mission was one of intelligence gathering.

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Gaza now has a security apparatus that makes it very difficult for the IDF to penetrate, the Hamas official said, boasting that Gaza is no longer a place where Israel can operate easily.

“Entry and exit are already banned for the occupation [the IDF]. They violated the understandings [achieved between Israel and Hamas via Egypt],” he claimed, accusing Israel of being the “source of evil and lack of security and tranquility in the region.”

Relating to a possible understanding with Israel, al-Haya blamed the lack of a prisoner swap on an unnamed Israeli official. “He is not prepared to complete the deal and has not made any real progress in its dealings,” al-Haya said.

He also reiterated Hamas’ demand that without the release of the security prisoners released in the Shalit deal but later re-arrested, there is no chance for a deal.

Israel released over 1,000 terrorists in 2011 in return for the freedom of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit but has since rearrested many who resumed carrying out acts of terror.