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Hamas' al-Qassam Brigades: Gaza won

Nov. 22, 2012 8:41 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 23, 2012 3:46 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas' armed wing on Thursday announced a victory after an eight-day war which left 170 Palestinians and five Israelis dead.

Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Obaida said the Palestinian people and the resistance had won, but that the battle wasn't over, addressing the media outside the home of the brigades' assassinated commander Ahmad al-Jaabari.

"The battle with the Israeli occupation hasn't ended yet, because the occupation is still going on and the Zionist enemy is known for treachery therefore the al-Qassam Brigades and the resistance will always have their eyes open as long as the land is being pillaged," Abu Obaida told reporters.

The spokesman said the brigades had fired 1,573 rockets -- averaging 200 a day -- during the war, which began with Israel's assassination of al-Jaabari in Gaza City on Nov. 14.

Abu Obaida said the brigades fired Fajr-5 missiles, grad rockets, mortars and M75 missiles at Israeli military bases and cities including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beer Sheba, Ashkelon and Ashdod.

He thanked the Gaza government, police and security forces for supporting the cohesion of the domestic front during the war and applauded the role of journalists who "exposed Israeli crimes."

He applauded all states and governments that supported the Palestinian resistance financially, politically and with weapons, and urged Arab and Islamic nations to exert greater efforts to liberate Palestine.

Earlier Thursday, Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal thanked Egypt for mediating the truce and praised Iran for providing Palestinians with financing and arms. "We have come out of this battle with our heads up high," he said, adding that Israel had been defeated and failed in its "adventure."

Islamic Jihad chief Ramadan Shallah also addressed the conference, claiming the war was Israel's "greatest defeat in history."

"We fought with honor, and we accept these understandings (ceasefire) with honor," he said.

But he noted Palestinian factions were on standby if Israel launched new attacks on the Gaza Strip.

Islamic Jihad's military wing the al-Quds Brigades said that while 10 of its fighters had been killed, they had fired 620 rockets at Israeli cities, and hacked more than 5,000 wireless communication devices for Israeli intelligence.

The brigades thanked civil defense teams and paramedics for their work, and praised the work of journalists in covering the conflict.
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