Hamas is about to establish its own “Defense Ministry” in the Gaza Strip as part of lessons drawn from Operation Pillar of Defense, Hamas Interior Minister Fathi Hammad announced on Wednesday.
Hammad, who is in charge of the Hamas security apparatus in the Gaza Strip, made the announcement during a ceremony to honor policemen and security officers for their role during last month’s IDF air offensive.
Hammad did not say when the new ministry would be established.
This would be the first time that the Palestinians set up a Defense Ministry. The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank does not have such a ministry. There, too, the PA’s Interior Ministry is formally in charge of the various branches of the security forces, with President Mahmoud Abbas serving as commander- in-chief.
Hammad said that “following the [Israeli] aggression, Hamas has drawn all the conclusions to avoid any negative developments and activate innovations.” He boasted the his ministry consisted of a coherent and strong security system.
“All our men are heroes who worked during the [Israeli] air strikes in their uniforms,” Hammad said.
“Zionist analysts are still talking about their failure and the collapse of their security system in the face of ours,” the Hamas official said, adding that his movement has achieved a step toward defeating Israel militarily, psychologically and in the media.
He cautioned that the next wars with Israel could be “more fierce, but we are determined to liberate Palestine.”
Meanwhile, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told a visiting Egyptian delegation that his government would “never give up one inch of Palestine, which is Muslimowned land.”
The only way to “liberate Palestine was through resistance, jihad and steadfastness,” Haniyeh said. He praised Egypt’s role in supporting Hamas and the Palestinians.
“Today, Egypt is rewriting the history of the whole Arab and Islamic nation,” the Hamas leader added. “Egypt has begun returning to its role in leading the Arab nation after many years that had been wasted by the corrupted.”