VIDEO - Despite the 110 Palestinians killed in the IDF's Operation Warm Winter
and the great damage – Hamas
insists it won the battle: Thousands of Palestinians marched in Gaza on Monday afternoon in rallies organized by Hamas, carrying the movement's green flags.
Hamas rally in Gaza (Video courtesy of infolive.tv
During the rallies, Hamas leaders praised the "great victory" against the IDF in the Israeli army's first operation in the town of Jabalya.
One of the rally's main speakers, senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar, said the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit
would not be released until Israel accepted all of his organization's confitions.
He vowed to compensate all the Gazans whose property was damaged during the operation, just like Hizbullah
leader Hassan Nasrallah
promised Lebanese citizens after the Second Lebanon War.
According to al-Zahar, Hamas will rebuild the houses destroyed during the fighting.
"The Israeli soldier will not be released if Israel fails to accept our conditions. You want to open this case? Release our prisoners," al-Zahar said.
Senior Hamas officials have reiterated in recent days that Shalit had nothing to do with the IDF operation and that his fate would be decided as part of a deal.
The demonstrators called on the Palestinian organizations and on Hamas' military wing to respond to "the Israeli crimes which led to the killing of more than 110 Palestinians in the four-day operation."
Hamas' media outlets held a special broadcast to celebrate the victory, and the movement's senior officials who went on the air stressed the Israeli defeat and the fact that the IDF failed in thwarting the rocket fire in its limited operation.
According to the Hamas broadcast, "Hell is awaiting the Israeli army deep inside the Strip if it is tempted to launch a wide-scale ground operation."
Members of Hamas military wing show off (Photo: Reuters)
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said
Monday 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.
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."
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."