Thursday, 27th November 2014

Israel, Hamas claim ‘victory’ in Gaza war


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Shaaban, 43, walks inside the shattered remains of his home on Wednesday,  August 27, 2014 in Gaza City's Shejaiya neighbourhood which was one of the hardest hit by the fighting between Israel and Hamas militants. The skies over the Gaza Strip were calm as a long-term ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians took hold after 50 days of the deadliest violence in a decade. (AFP/Roberto Schmidt)Israelis and Palestinians on Wednesday both claimed "victory" in the Gaza war, one day after the long-term cease-fire came into effect.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters that the Israel's Gaza offensive was a "great military and political achievement."

The Prime Minister said Israel had struck Hamas a "heavy blow" in the seven-week offensive, which started on July 8.

"Hamas has not suffered such a blow since its establishment," Netanyahu claimed, referring to the Israeli military's operation against Hamas' underground tunnels and the rocket caches struck by the Israeli military.

The Prime Minister also rejected the estimates by the international community that most of the 2,100 killed in the Gaza Strip were civilians, and insisted most of the fatalities were Hamas members.

Netanyahu added that the organization did not get what it set out to achieve amid the cease-fire, although the discussions over the main demands by both sides are set to be carried out later this month.

"Hamas set out conditions and did not achieve any of them, a seaport, an airport, the release of prisoners, we didn't agree to those conditions and the cease-fire was achieved without them."

He also added that it is early to say whether a sustained quiet has been achieved, and Israel will not tolerate "dripping" of rocket fire towards Israeli communities.

Also on Wednesday, a senior Islamic Hamas movement official claimed that the Palestinian armed resistance achieved victory on Israel.

Ismail Haneya, deputy chief of Hamas, made the remarks when he addressed thousands of Hamas supporters in Gaza.

He said "the armed Palestinian resistance gained the admiration of the entire world and surprised Israel."

The crowds waved Hamas flags and other militant groups flags and chanted slogans of victory against Israel.

"The armed resistance is bigger and stronger than the previous wars with the occupation," Haneya said.

He added that 1.8 million people of the Gaza Strip "are heroes when they all confronted the occupation," adding that "your steadfastness was the main reason for the resistance victory. This war humiliated the soldiers of the occupation by al-Qassam Brigades."

More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed since Operation Protective Edge began on July 8, and more than 10,000 have been wounded. In Israel, 70 people were killed, including 64 soldiers and six civilians.JERUSALEM/GAZA, Augus 27 (Xinhua)


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