A spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees told Ynet Monday night that Palestinian groups in Gaza are preparing for the "real battle," urging Israel to launch a ground operation in the Strip.
"If Israeli soldiers are such men, they should fight on the ground, the PRC's Abu Abir said. "The defeat they suffered on the ground in Lebanon would be even greater in Gaza…yet I know that we are dealing with cowards who ever since the 1980s have feared a face-to-face confrontation with us."
While admitting that the first day of Israel's operation was not an easy one, the spokesman said the clash was now entering a new phase, "where we jump at the enemy, pursue it, and invite it to engage in battle."
Meanwhile, the death toll in the Gaza Strip topped 350, yet Palestinian armed groups are undeterred said Abu Abir, claiming that they were not hurt at all.
"We are inviting the Israelis to embark on the great challenge of ground combat," he said.
The PRC spokesman added that "the entire Palestinian people understand that this is an all-out war, and that the resistance and its organizations are the only way to salvage Palestinian honor. The Israelis can continue to pulverize us from the air, and we shall continue to pulverize them with the means at our disposal….just like the Israelis trained and prepared, so did we."
Addressing Israeli phone message and leaflets aimed at influencing Gaza residents, Abu Abir said that those behind the move "do not hear the Allahu Akbar ("God is great" in Arabic) calls emerging from homes when rockets are fired."
The spokesman added that Palestinian groups were unimpressed by the fact that as opposed to the Lebanon war, Israel's campaign this time around is being led by a more experienced defense minister and army chief.
"We know both of them and they don't scare us," he said. "The determining factor is the result at the end of the campaign, rather than the declarations made by the leaders. They threaten us, and we'll continue to prepare and expand the fighting."