Hamas chief says Israel failed to achieve 'declared objectives' of Gaza war

Ahram Online , Tuesday 9 Jan 2024

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said Israel failed to achieve any of its "declared objectives" since the beginning of its war on Gaza, asserting that the 7 October Al-Aqsa Flood operation did not come in a vacuum.

Palestinian Hamas resistance chief Ismail Haniyeh speaks at the conference of the International Union of Muslim Scholars in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday, January 9, 2024. Screengrab courtesy of Al-Jazeera TV


In a speech on Tuesday at the conference of the International Union of Muslim Scholars in Doha, Haniyeh said: Israel had set three goals for its war against Gaza but, in reality, it yielded nothing.

"The declared objectives of the war on Gaza (for Israel) are to eliminate the Hamas movement, recover the (Israeli) captives, and carry out the plan to displace (the Palestinians)."

Hamas, Haniyeh said, cannot be eradicated and the Palestinians will never leave their lands despite the heavy price, the massacres, and the war of genocide.

"Hamas exists in Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and in the diaspora, as well as in the conscience of the nation and the free people of the world, and it cannot be eradicated."

He added that “we will not repeat the calamity of 1948 … Rather, we are rooted in the land despite the butchery, massacres, killings, and the wiping out of entire families (in Gaza).”

The Hamas chief said Israel succeeded only in revealing its bloody, ugly, murderous face. “No one in the world has not become aware of this (Zionist) entity,” he further said.

Haniyeh called on Muslim states to provide Palestinian fighters with weapons.

He noted that there are already several military fronts supporting Hamas, in an apparent reference to Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen.

"We see countries of the world pouring weapons into the occupation (Israel) ... The time has come (for Muslim states) to support the resistance with weapons because this is ... not the battle of the Palestinian people alone," Haniyeh said.

On the Al-Aqsa Flood operation, Haniyeh said the offensive was driven by three key developments.

"The first development was the marginalization of the Palestinian cause locally and internationally. The second development was the emergence of an extremist Zionist government that has made the displacement of our people and the imposition of sovereignty over the Al-Aqsa Mosque its top priority.

“The third development was the normalization process and integration of the occupation into the region, dealing with it at the expense of our people and our cause,” he added.

Haniyeh added: "Faced with these developments, our Palestinian people and resistance have decided that such a reality cannot be confronted through conventional means.”

Addressing the humanitarian situation in Gaza, Haniyeh said the situation is "unperceivable" and "catastrophic in every sense of the word." He added that the entire region is fraught with tension.

Furthermore, the Hamas chief condemned Israel's brutal aggression in the occupied West Bank as "dangerous and massive," noting that 350 Palestinians have been killed in the region since the Hamas offensive into Israel in early October.

The Palestinian health ministry says at least 23,210 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israel declared war on the strip on 7 October.

It added in a statement that it had recorded 126 deaths in the past 24 hours, while a total of 59,167 people had been wounded in more than three months.

The Israeli army said on Tuesday that 185 soldiers have been killed so far during battles with Qassam Brigades and other resistance fighters in Gaza.

It said nine soldiers died in fighting on Monday – one of the deadliest days for the military since it launched a ground invasion into Gaza on October 27.

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