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The Gaza cease-fire agreed to yesterday by Hamas and Israel is a “victory” for Palestinian “resistance” and will be used by local terrorist groups to rearm and prepare for battle against the Jewish state, top Gaza-based terror leaders told WND.

“We are humiliating the Israelis. They kept threatening to make a huge operation in Gaza, but they were the ones who begged us to go into the cease-fire,” said Muhammad Abdel-Al, a leader and spokesman for the Hamas-allied, Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees terror group.

Along with Hamas, the Committees took responsibility for firing nearly 30 mortars and rockets from Gaza into nearby Jewish communities Wednesday, lightly injuring one Israeli woman just hours before the truce went into effect.

“[The rocket attacks] prove we are not going into this cease-fire from a weak point but from a point of force and power,” Abdel-Al said.

Abu Abdullah, considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas’ so-called military wing, told WND his group will use the truce to rearm itself.

“The hudna (temporary truce) will be used for more training, arming. … We don’t have any intention to stop from bringing in weapons from the Sinai into Gaza,” said Abdullah.

He called the cease-fire “one more sign of the collapse of the Israeli army, that this big Israeli army with the so-called best air force in the world didn’t succeed to stop the rockets, and they accepted the truce.”

The term “hudna,” dates back to Islam’s founding in the 7th century, when Muhammad declared a 10-year hudna with the tribe that controlled Mecca. Later, after rearming, Muhammad attacked the tribe, claiming it had broken the truce. In 1994, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat invoked Muhammad’s hudna when he justified the launch of the second intifada during the Oslo peace process.

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy noted in 2003 that Hamas had agreed to 10 cease-fires in the previous decade and returned freshly armed after each one.

“It is important to note,” the institute said, “that all cease-fire offers have been presented at a time when Hamas needed a moment to step back and regroup after an organizationally exhausting confrontation with a more powerful foe (either Israel or the PA).”

Israeli security officials have warned in briefings to the Knesset that Hamas would use the truce to rearm itself and strengthen its forces for an ultimate Israeli military incursion into Gaza. The officials said more Israeli troops would likely die fighting in Gaza because of the off-time Hamas is likely to use to prepare itself for battle.

The Gaza cease-fire officially went into effect at 6 a.m. Jerusalem time yesterday. Israel has said it will hold off all military operations in Gaza in exchange for a complete cessation of Palestinian rocket attacks and violence.

Hamas, for its part, reportedly instructed its members to refrain from carrying out any attacks.

If the truce holds through the weekend, Israel said it would ease its blockade of Gaza by allowing a larger number of shipments to enter and may open border crossings closed in recent months.

In a statement issued as the truce went into effect, Hamas’ military wing warned Israel the cease-fire was “not in anyway a free gift” and said it is ready to resume attacks:

“[Hamas’] Qassam Brigades is fully ready to launch a military strike that would shake the Zionist entity if they did not abide by all the items of the calm deal and the Zionist enemy would be responsible for any foolish act they may commit,” the statement said.

To interview Aaron Klein, contact M. Sliwa Public Relations by e-mail, or call 973-272-2861 or 212-202-4453.


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