Hamas declares victory, vows to acquire more 'holy weapons'

Monday, January 19, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh announced in a televised address to the Gaza population on Sunday that the terror group had once again defeated Israel by force of arms.

Hamas scored a "historical and strategic victory" over Israel, said Haniyeh as Israeli troops began withdrawing from the Gaza Strip following a three-week offensive against the terrorist infrastructure there.

While Israel managed to kill hundreds of terrorists and destroy much of Hamas' military hardware, while suffering only minimal casualties itself, observers had warned for weeks that all Hamas had to do was survive the assault in order to legitimately claim victory in the eyes of their fellow Arabs and Muslims.

Hamas also successfully convinced a majority of Palestinians that its acts of violence had driven the Israeli army and 10,000 Jewish civilians from Gaza in the 2005 "disengagement."

Hamas spokesman Abu Ubaida followed up Haniyeh's pronouncement by telling reporters in Gaza that the group will continue to arm itself in violation of the "memorandum of understanding" Israel signed with Western powers guaranteeing assistance in keeping weapons out of the terrorists' hands.

"Do whatever you want. Manufacturing the holy weapons is our mission and we know how to acquire weapons," said Abu Ubaida.

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