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Osama Hamdan, representative of Hamas movement in Lebanon, stated on Saturday that the speech of Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, in which he declared a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza, is considered another Israeli failure to win against the resistance, similar to the Israeli failure in the war against Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006.
Hamdan added that this speech is a victory to the steadfast Palestinian resistance, and added that Olmert claimed that his army managed to strike Hamas movement and its fighters, but also admitted that the army failed to free the captured soldier, Gilad Shalit, and does not even know his whereabouts.
Shalit was captured by Palestinian fighters in June 26, 2006, after he was captured, Israel waged a war against Gaza, killed hundreds of Palestinians but failed to locate its soldier.The Hamas political leader also said that Olmert wants to keep his troops in Gaza, and that this decision will lead to further resistance against the occupation forces.
“The crimes committed by the army in Gaza will add more factors to resistance, the fighters who are countering the Israeli tanks and shells are the ones who lived through the first Intifada”, Hamdan added, “the new generation that lived through this current holocaust, will be the new generation of resistance”.
The Hamas leader also said that Olmert was hesitant when he “declared victory over Hamas” and when he claimed the army managed to weaken Hamas, but at the same time Olmert said that he wants international guarantees to weaken Hamas.
“Olmert said that he used the full power of his army in this war against Gaza, yet he failed to win the battle”, Hamdan stated, “this shows that Israel is incapable of defeating Hamas, this speech is a speech of failure and Israeli disappointment”.
Hamdan further said that Olmert tried to focus on barring weapon smuggling into Gaza, and added that these statements prove that Olmert is not pleased with the outcome of his offensive against Gaza.
“This speech is a speech of disappointment by Olmert who started his political life with failure and is ending it with another failure”, Hamdan stated, “These failures are new chances to the resistance”.
On Saturday at night, Israeli TV Channel 10 reported that the army used half of its air force in the strikes against Gaza and carried out at least 2500 air strikes in three weeks.
Channel 10 military correspondent said that Israeli war jets had dropped over a thousand tons of explosives during the offensive. This is besides the hundreds of shells fired by the Israeli tanks, artillery, infantry brigades and gunboats.
More than 1,200 Palestinians, including children, infants and women, were killed in 22 days of Israeli shelling, the number of those injured have exceeded 5,400 including 400 in critical conditions, the Palestinian Ministry of Health reported Saturday.