In a further demonstration, if one were needed, of the cynical and violent nature of Hamas they are now claiming that the recent conflict in Gaza was a "victory" and that they will rearm. The claim of victory rings hollow of course. It makes as much sense as if the Georgians had claimed victory after the Russians recently invaded and destroyed their military.
A representative of the Hamas Islamic group's armed wing is reported to have said that Hamas would rearm. As part of it's claims of victory the group is downplaying the number of fighters that it lost in the conflict. Abu Obeida, a spokesman for the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades claimed "the martyrdom of 48 Qassam fighters" was a holy victory.
He also dismissed attempts to stop weapons smuggling into Gaza which was a declared aim of the war and is part of the truce expectations.
"Do whatever you want. Manufacturing the holy weapons is our mission and we know how to acquire weapons," he said.
Israel has claimed that up to 500 Hamas members were killed during it's military action.
As I suggested in a previous post it is clear that Hamas sought the Gaza conflict, although it seems likely that they did not anticipate that Israel would launch the scale of attack that has raged for the past three weeks.
Having brought this disaster down on the heads of Palestinians in Gaza Hamas has no choice of course now but to try to present the outcome as some sort of victory. In some senses they have of course achieved advances. They have had the outrage against Israel around the world that they sought. The issue of the opening of the crossings is on the agenda. The Muslim world is enraged against Israel.
Hamas will count these as gains and the suffering and loss of it's citizens will be set as an unfortunate but necessary cost in the ongoing struggle against Israeli oppression.
Expect to see more rockets and suicide bombings in the coming months because it is clear that Hamas remains an organisation that lacks any vision for a way out of this conflict other than by violence.
The most likely scenario will be that at the end of their week truce they will announce that Israel has not withdrawn sufficiently and the rockets will start again.