Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Marking a year since the onslaught of Operation Protective Edge, senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a speech Wednesday in Gaza's Rafah that the terror organization has recuperated since last year's battle round and is more capable of fighting Israel than ever before.
According to the terror organization's website, Haniyeh said that the Palestinian resistance and the Kassam Brigades are more prepared than ever before to protect the Gaza Strip from "Zionist" threats.
He said that the upcoming days will bring "good to the people of Gaza," and went on to praise the recent flotilla attempt to break the blockade of the Strip.
Haniyeh said that the IDF's interception of the flotilla "reveals the aggressive nature of the Zionist regime," which is standing in the way of an "important step in breaking the blockade on Gaza."
Haniyeh's speech followed Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen's Tuesday report to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
, in which he maintained that despite strategic distress and eroding sovereignty, Hamas retains control of the Strip due to fear, lack of an organized alternative, and economic reliance on them.
Cohen confirmed suspicions that Hamas is continuing to build up its military preparedness for a future conflict with Israel, including rebuilding attack tunnels, manufacturing rockets, increasing training in the sea, air and land, and continuing to try to get aid from Iran.
At the same time, he said Hamas does not plan to act against Israel at this point.
Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.