Hamas marks 3 yrs since IDF Operation Cast Lead

Gaza leaders dismiss Israeli "threats" of new operation to root out terror in territory as "psychological warfare, propaganda."

December 27, 2011 14:10
1 minute read.
Smoke rises in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead

Operation Cast Lead 311. (photo credit: Mohammed Salem / Reuters)

Hamas marked the three year anniversary of Operation Cast Lead on Tuesday, saying Israeli threats to launch another large-scale operation in Gaza to root out terrorist infrastructure was nothing more than "psychological warfare and propaganda."

"These threats do not frighten the [Hamas] movement or the Palestinian people," the Ma'an news agency quoted Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri as saying at a press conference.

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Abu Zuhri referred to Israeli "war crimes" and "genocide" in the Gaza Strip, stating that the international community should "deal with the occupation as a terrorist entity, the most dangerous in the world."

The Hamas official cited the UN-commissioned Goldstone Report as evidence of Israel's war crimes and called on Israeli officials to be prosecuted for their part in Operation Cast Lead in the International Criminal Court at the Hague.

Abu Zuhri deemed the Israeli operation and the siege of Gaza a "failure," saying that the Palestinian resistance in Gaza had come to serve as a model for Arab revolutions.

He added that Hamas remains committed to implementing the Palestinian reconciliation agreement with Fatah as an expression of the unity of the Palestinian people.

Also speaking on Tuesday, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz "expressed satisfaction with the high level of deterrence Israel gained from [Operation Cast Lead]," according to a statement on the IDF website.

"There will be no escape from conducting a significant operation [in Gaza]," Gantz contended.

"The IDF knows how to operate in a determined, decisive and offensive manner against terrorists in the Gaza Strip," he explained, adding that any military action would be planned and quick.

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