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Hamas ready for long war in Gaza

News Desk || risingbd.com

Published: 15:06, 18 May 2024  
Hamas ready for long war in Gaza

The military wing of Hamas says Palestinians are ready for a long war of attrition, pledging to stand up to Israel’s ground invasion of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip and elsewhere, reports Press TV.

“Despite our full desire to stop the aggression against our people, we are prepared for a long battle of attrition against the enemy, dragging them into a swamp where they will gain nothing but the death of their soldiers and the capture of their officers,” Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Obeida said in a video message.

“This is because we are the people of this land and are its rightful owners,” he added.

His remarks come as fighting is raging in Gaza as Israel intensifies its ground invasion of Rafah despite international concerns for the hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians in the southern city.

In the past 10 days, Palestinian fighters have targeted 100 Israeli military vehicles, including tanks, armored personnel carriers as well as bulldozers, Abu Obeida said. They have inflicted heavy casualties on Israeli soldiers by blowing up tunnels, launching rockets and mortars, and through sniping and close-quarters combat.

The Israeli military, he said, does not announce the exact figure of its losses in Gaza.

“The al-Qassam Brigades fighters inflicted severe blows on the Zionist enemy in the eastern flank of Rafah city,” Abu Obeida said.

He said the Israeli military had made a big mistake by deciding to launch a ground invasion of Rafah, the Zaitoun neighborhood, and Jabalia refugee camp, rendering its troops easy targets for Palestinian fighters.

The Israelis, he said, thought that if they spent seven months burning everything to the ground, they would face little resistance, “but they were surprised to find that they were once again in hell, facing fiercer resistance than before”.

On Thursday, major general in the Israeli Reserve Army Yitzhak Brik said the current war unfolding in Gaza is a “war of attrition”. He warned that its prolongation “will lead to the collapse of the army and economy in Israel”. 

Speaking to Israeli broadcaster Channel 13, Brik said “the Israeli army needs immediate rehabilitation” as he acknowledged failure to defeat the Palestinian resistance.

Earlier Thursday, Knesset member Amit Levy said that “all 24 Hamas brigades are present [in Gaza] and not a single one of them has been destroyed”.

In addition to Hamas, the Islamic Jihad movement remains present, he said. “They lied to us that it had been eliminated,” Levy told Channel 14.

The statements come amid increasing doubts about the objectives of the ongoing Israeli war on Gaza, as troops return to the battlefield for an invasion of Rafah.

In his Friday night message, Abu Obeida said, “Despite the war of starvation, destruction, and killing, our resistance, and behind it our people, are coming out to face the enemy from everywhere.”

“Our fighters are confronting the enemy with great momentum ... blowing up buildings, tunnel openings, and minefields,” he said.

“Our fighters face a trembling, floundering force, and leave it broken and disappointed,” while “the American weapons build to exterminate our people cause enormous destruction, which is the only achievement of this crisis-stricken enemy.”

Abu Obeida praised the resistance and the Palestinian people who, he said, are still on their feet after more than 220 days of Israeli aggression, fighting fiercely and standing unflinchingly in the face of Israel.

The Israeli occupation, Abu Obeida said, “would find the resistance standing in its face every time it aspired to reach a goal or achievement and prevent it from achieving victory”.

Israel launched its genocidal war against the Gaza Strip, targeting hospitals, residences, and houses of worship, after Palestinian resistance movements launched a surprise attack, dubbed Operation al-Aqsa Storm, against the usurping entity on October 7 last year.

At least 35,303 Palestinians have been killed, most of them women and children, and another 79,261 individuals have sustained injuries. More than 1.7 million people have been internally displaced during the war as well.