Saturday, January 17th, 2009
Matti Friedman, Ibrahim Barzak, Associated Press
January 17, 2009
Hamas vows to fight on until all Israeli forces leave Gaza
JERUSALEM—Israel implemented a unilateral cease-fire early Sunday in its 22-day offensive that turned Gaza neighbourhoods into battlegrounds and dealt a stinging blow to the Islamic militants of Hamas. But Israeli troops will stay in the Palestinian territory for now and Hamas threatened to keep fighting until they leave.
In announcing the cease-fire late Saturday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel had achieved its goals and more.
“Hamas was hit hard, in its military arms and in its government institutions. Its leaders are in hiding and many of its men have been killed,” Olmert said.
Israel launched the offensive on Dec. 27 to stop years of rocket fire from Gaza at southern Israeli towns. But the rockets did not stop coming throughout the assault. Militants fired about 30 rockets into Israel on Saturday, eight of them around the time Olmert spoke.