Hamas: Arms Smuggling Will Continue

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CBNNews.com - GAZA STRIP - Hamas spokesman Abu Obaida told reporters on Monday that Hamas would resume arms smuggling as soon as possible.

"Do what you like, but manufacturing holy [sic] weapons is our goal," the masked spokesman said at a Hamas press conference.

"Bringing arms into Gaza is not smuggling," Obaida told reporters.

"The natural situation would be for all Arab and Muslim countries, along with the rest of the free world, to officially allow weapons into the Strip," he said.

"Meanwhile, we believe it is our right to bring arms in any way we see fit," he said.

According to Obaida, only 48 of Hamas fighters were killed during the Gaza operation, while Hamas killed 80 Israeli soldiers, a striking distortion of documented statistics.

The claim is not being taken seriously by Gaza residents, Jerusalem Post Palestinian Affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh reported.

"Hamas's claim that the movement lost only 48 of its gunmen and that the IAF [Israel Air Force] had used half of its ammunition in air strikes on the Gaza Strip is not being taken seriously by many Palestinians in the Gaza Strip," Toameh wrote.

"Nor are many Palestinians taking seriously Hamas's claims that its men destroyed 47 tanks and armored vehicles, killed 80 IDF soldiers and wounded hundreds of others, Toameh wrote.

Meanwhile, Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri also claimed victory in the Gaza operation.  

"We are in a powerful, victorious position," al-Masri told Israel Radio on Monday. "Israel will soon learn that the balance of power has changed in Hamas' favor," he said.

A third Hamas official, who asked to remain anonymous, told Israel Radio that the Gaza op elevated Hamas to a higher status among its people.

"The people are not angry with Hamas," he said, "and the group will rebuild every home that was damaged."

Hamas called for a week-long cease-fire 12 hours after the Israeli government announced its decision to enact a unilateral cease-fire, which began at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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