The Palestinian Hamas movement states that it is prepared for a prolonged battle against Israel in the Gaza Strip, responding to statements from Israeli political and military officials that the war in the region will last until the elimination of the movement, with the possibility of the army remaining after the conflict ends.
Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the political bureau of the Hamas movement, based in Doha, Qatar, declared on Thursday that the resistance in the Gaza Strip is ready for a long war with the Israeli army, saying, “If the enemy wants a long battle, we want it longer,” in a recorded speech where Haniyeh praised the resilience of the Palestinian people and the collaboration of resistance factions “to disperse the capabilities of the Israeli army and weaken it on multiple fronts.”
He stated, “If the enemy wants a long battle, we are longer than our enemy, and our resistance will have the final say,” pointing out that the resistance “engages in a strategic conflict with the Zionist enemy, in which we will only be victorious.”
He referred to “the victories achieved by the resistance elements on the ground in the Gaza Strip,” adding, “The heroes of the resistance write pages of glory in Gaza, pages equal to heroism and courage, striking painful blows to our enemy’s army and its mechanisms.”
He continued, “The world will see the Al-Qassam Brigades and the resistance factions defeating the Israeli occupation from the Gaza Strip, as they did 18 years ago, and they will reap nothing but more failure, disappointment, and collapse,” considering “the residents of the Gaza Strip and the resistance have thwarted the enemy’s goals and plans for displacement or the forceful recovery of prisoners.”
He also called for the implementation of decisions from the emergency Arab-Islamic summit held in the Saudi capital Riyadh a few days ago, especially those related to “halting the aggression and immediately lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip, protecting the sanctities, and realizing the aspirations of our people for freedom, return, and independence,” emphasizing the importance of “the rapid convening of the committee composed of several countries tasked with monitoring the implementation of the decisions issued by the summit.”
Last Saturday, the Arab-Islamic summit was held in Riyadh with the participation of leaders and representatives of Arab League countries and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, aiming to reach a unified stance amid the continued Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip.\
On another note, Haniyeh condemned the continued “occupation in obstructing the international will” seeking to condemn Israeli practices in the Gaza Strip, through decisions of the United Nations Security Council, stating that the Security Council decision (scheduled to be issued two weeks ago) “should have included a clear and direct condemnation of the war crimes and ethnic cleansing committed by the Zionist enemy around the clock in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.”
He added, “We emphasize the importance of forcing the enemy to stop the aggression, open the crossings, quickly meet all the needs of the sector, and end the blockade on it permanently and completely.”
For the past 41 days, the Israeli army has been waging a destructive war on Gaza, resulting in 11,500 martyrs, including 4,710 children and 3,160 women, in addition to 29,800 wounded, 70 percent of whom are children and women, according to official Palestinian sources on Wednesday evening.
Haniyeh visited Cairo last week with a Palestinian delegation to discuss several files, including the hostage file and a ceasefire. Qatar, which will host leaders from Hamas, plays a role in mediating for the release of hostages held by the movement in exchange for a humanitarian truce. However, it faces Western pressure due to its reception of leaders from Palestinian factions.