Hamas declares 'victory' after cease-fire

Palestinians celebrate agreement in Gaza, West Bank; Hamas official: Historic victory paves way for "liberating Palestine."

Gazans celebrate after cease-fire 370 (photo credit: Reuters)
Gazans celebrate after cease-fire 370
(photo credit: Reuters)
Hamas reacted to the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire agreement that was announced Wednesday by declaring “victory” over Israel.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip reacted to the announcement by taking to the streets to celebrate Hamas’s “victory.”
Similar celebrations were also reported in some West Bank cities late Wednesday.
Drivers honked their cars and women ululated while others handed out candies to express their joy over the cease-fire agreement. Palestinian gunmen fired shots into the air in Gaza City while others kissed the ground in a sign of jubilation.
Palestinians also chanted slogans in support of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip.
Sources in the Gaza Strip said that the Hamas leadership instructed its members to abide by the cease-fire and to stop firing at Israel.
“History will mention that Gaza once hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem with rockets,” boasted a Hamas activist in Gaza City.
“Today we triumphed. This is a victory from Allah.”
Ahmed Bahr, a senior Hamas official, welcomed the cease-fire agreement.
“The resistance groups have achieved a historic victory and paved the way for the battle of liberating Palestine,” he said.
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Bahr praised the Egyptians, Qataris and Turks for their role in achieving the cease-fire agreement.
In a press conference in Cairo Wednesday night, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said that the cease-fire required the opening of all Gaza crossings.
The Popular Resistance Committees also declared victory and claimed that Israel had succumbed to its conditions for a cease-fire.
“The occupation and its army were forced to accept our conditions for a cease-fire,” said Abu Ataya, spokesman for the PRC. “This is a great victory.”
Ataya said that the Palestinian armed groups have taught Israel “a lesson that it would not forget for a long time.” He also warned that the Palestinian groups would respond to any [Israeli] violations of the cease-fire agreement.