"We promise the Israeli army and the settlers that we will strike them defeats and losses which they never even imagined," the group said in a statement, threatening to carry out further kidnapping operations, like the one in which Corporal Gilad Shalit was kidnapped.
The Hamas statement added: "We promise to continue to humiliate the Israeli forces on the Gaza land. The enemy's decision is like a declaration of war which will burn the Zionists themselves. The confused enemy's leaders must wait in tension for other attacks like the 'disappearing illusion' operation (the name of the Kerem Shalom attack, in which IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped.)"
Hamas' military wing threatened: "In the face of the Israeli army's great terrorist operation in the Strip and in the face of the firmness of the gang of Zionist ministers to shed Palestinian blood, we commit in front of Allah and in front of our people and craft to humiliate the enemy's army."
"We promise the Palestinian people that Israel's decisions are decisions of a defeated side that are made by leaders who failed in achieving even one small accomplishment of weakening the Palestinian resistance. They are trying, in a move of desperation, to present themselves to their army as those who are operating to restore the Israelis' security," the statement said.
Hamas: For how long will Nazism continue?
The statement added that "the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades are aware of the fact that the enemy's options are minimal and it has utilized all the tools in its disposal and has nothing left but to fail once again.
"A senior member of the brigades expressed his amazement over the silence in the world in light of Israel's operation and was wondering about the importance of what is defined as human rights in the UN charter: 'For how long will this aggressive policy continue to be above any law? For how long will Nazism continue to hit humanity without any consideration?'"
Meanwhile, in Israel, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected calls by ministers who demanded an escalation of the military operation.
Speaking during the cabinet meeting, Olmert said: "We can carry out an operation like in James Bond movies and lose the international community's support. In order to maintain this support we have to act with patience and self-control."
According to Olmert, "the easiest thing is to come here and hit the table and demand an operation, but there is an international community. The dosage must be right and measured."
The remarks were made in response to ministers' claims and questions regarding the military operation aimed at freeing the kidnapped soldier and halting the Qassam fire in the Gaza Strip.
But in spite of the moderate declarations, the Israel Defense Forces' operation in Gaza continued Sunday. Sources in the Strip reported that a passerby was killed and several Palestinians were injured in an Israel Air Force strike in Rafah. A missile was fired at a car carrying members of Hamas' military wing, who apparently managed to escape, while a civilian was killed.
The IDF Spokesperson's Office said that "in a joint operation of the Southern Command and the Air Force, the IDF launched an air strike on a car carrying a group of terrorists."