Ismail Haniyeh made the remarks on Wednesday in Lebanon, where he arrived four days ago at the head of a delegation hailing from the Gaza Strip-headquartered resistance movement, the Palestinian Shehab news agency reported. The Hamas’ official has taken the trip to hold meetings with senior Lebanese officials and others.
The resistance has many “powerful cards” at its disposal that can create deterrence in the face of the Zionist occupier and prevent its atrocities, the official said while meeting with the representatives of the Palestinian groups in Lebanon, civil campaigners, and others.
He addressed the issue of the resistance groups’ Operation Sword of al-Quds. The groups launched the defensive campaign on May 11, days after the Israeli regime turned a deaf ear to their earlier ultimatum and kept assaulting their compatriots and their sanctities in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank.
Upwards of 4,000 rockets were fired towards the occupied territories during the operation, killing 11 Israelis and causing millions of dollars in damage to the occupying regime’s various structures and facilities.
The rockets flew throughout the entire expanse of the territories, reaching as far as Tel Aviv, the holy occupied city of al-Quds, and even northern-lying cities such as Haifa and Nazareth, forcing the regime to desperately demand a ceasefire.
The Palestinian factions had so far fended off several wholesale Israeli wars, but the recent victory marked the most decisive one to ever be scored by them given its grand scale and manner of achievement.
Haniyeh said the operation united the entire Palestinian nation whether inside or outside the Palestinian territories around the option of resistance.
To Israel’s outrage, he added, Gaza would eventually recover from the damage that the Israeli military has afflicted on it during the war.
The official, meanwhile, underlined, “The right of seven million Palestinian refugees to return to their original cities and villages in Palestine is a legitimate right” that is not subject to any haggling process.
“We do not back down from this right whatever be the price,” Haniyeh said.
Separately, the official met with Ziad al-Nakhalah, secretary-general of Hamas’ fellow Gaza-based resistance group of the Islamic Jihad, in the Lebanese capital Beirut.
The two discussed the available mechanisms that could be used towards drawing further benefit from the resistance’s successful recent battle against the Israeli regime.
They also laid emphasis on the need for preservation of unity within the Palestinian nation concerning the issue of al-Quds.
The city hosts al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound – Islam’s third holiest site.
Israel occupied the western part of the city in 1948. It occupied the eastern part while overrunning the West Bank in 1967.
Palestinians want the eastern section to serve as the capital of their future state, but Tel Aviv lays bogus claim on the entire city as its so-called “capital.”
Ever since their occupation, the regime has been building hundreds of illegal settlements across al-Quds and the rest of the West Bank. It also regularly assaults the Palestinian worshippers on the al-Aqsa Mosque’s compound and provides heavy protection for provocative measures by illegal settlers on the holy site.
Haniyeh and Nakhalah said the Palestinians had to confront the challenges that they faced on the basis of fixed positions.
On Tuesday, Haniyeh met with the Lebanese resistance movement of Hezbollah’s Secretary-General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.
The two exchanged views on the latest Palestinian military gains against the Israeli regime and ways to achieve “ultimate victory” against the occupier.
So far, Haniyeh has also met with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, and caretaker prime minister Hassan Diab.
Haniyeh arrived in Lebanon after traveling to Egypt, Morocco, and Mauritania. Some reports say he is going to travel to Iran and Turkey after concluding his current trip.