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Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Office
Hamas declares 'victory' in Gaza
Three more bodies found in fighting zone in Strip, bringing Palestinian death toll in IDF's Operation Warm Winter to 110 people. PRC: We'll settle the account with Israel
As Operation Warm Winter came to an end early Monday, three additional bodies were found in the fighting zones in the Gaza Strip.

 

According to the Palestinians, only one of the casualties was a gunman, while the other two were a civilian and a rescue crew member.

 

In total, 110 Palestinians were killed in the IDF raid, the vast majority of them gunmen – according to the Israeli army. Hamas and the other Palestinian organizations, however, declared a "victory" in Gaza.

 

"The enemy has been defeated," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

 

Hamas threatened to continue firing rockets at Israel, and kept its promise. Four Qassam rockets were fired at Israel on Monday morning, three of them landing in Sderot. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

 

"Gaza will always be the occupation forces' cemetery," Abu Zuhri said.

 

A spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees told Ynet that "the army's withdrawal is an Israeli admission of the failure of its operation. We defeated the Israeli army which has already been defeated in all the other wars in Lebanon and in the Strip."

 

According to Abu Mujahed, "The Israeli operation failed and we have proved that no solution will be forcefully imposed on us, and the firing will not stop. The army is continuing its chain of failures."

 

Responding to Monday morning's rocket fire at Sderot and the western Negev, Abu Mujahed said that "it was carried as a payoff on the part of the Palestinian resistance for the killing and destruction caused by the army in the recent days. The score has yet to be settled. We will settle the account with the Israelis for the dozens of casualties."

 

'Enemy chose to massacre civilians'

Hamas spokesman Abu Zuhri said that the forces' pullout was an Israeli admission of the IDF's failure in the first part of its ground operation in the Gaza Strip.

 

"The Israeli army failed in the face of the fighters from all the organizations, and due to this failure, the enemy chose to massacre civilians," he said.

 

According to Abu Zhuri, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert must draw conclusions from his soldiers' failure in the town of Jabalya. "These activities will not harm or damage the Palestinian people's willingness or determination."

 

He added that the Israeli announcement on the assassination of Hamas leaders does not deter the movement's leadership, but rather strengthens its determination.

 

"We warn the enemy against such a stupid move and warn it against the ramifications of such an operation."

 

In a special press conference held in Gaza, Abu Zuhri condemned "the Arab silence in the face of the enemy's operation" and the "cooperation on the part of elements in the Palestinian Authority."

 

He also slammed UN Secretayr-General Ban Ki-moon for saying that the Palestinians were partially responsible for the security deterioration.

 

Hamas TV presented images of an armored personnel carrier going up in flames. According to the report, the APC was destroyed by an explosive device activated by members of the group's military wing.

 

Hundreds of Palestinian residents took to the fighting zones in order to observe the great damage in the area.

 

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