Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal says that the resistance of the Palestinians brought Israel to its knees in the Gaza Strip.
Israel failed to topple the democratically-elected government of Hamas and was unsuccessful in achieving any of its other objectives, Mashaal told students at the University of Tehran Monday.
Israel was unable to impose on us any of the conditions it had set for a ceasefire and in the end the Israelis were forced to declare a unilateral ceasefire, he added.
The world witnessed how Israel used conventional and unconventional weapons - including white phosphorous - to massacre innocents in Gaza, continued Mashaal, adding, “But Israeli atrocities did not scare Gazans into surrendering.”
While international law permits the use of white phosphorus as an obscurant to conceal troop movement and prevent the enemy from using certain guided weapons, its use remains controversial, as it can burn through flesh to the bone or cause liver, kidney, heart, lung or bone damage and even lead to death.
Mashaal went on to praise Iran for standing by the Palestinian nation, saying, “Gazans have always appreciated the political and spiritual support of the Iranian leaders and nation. Iran is a partner in our victory."
He called on the Iranian nation to continue supporting Gazans in their efforts to reconstruct the war-ravaged coastal strip.
Tel Aviv launched Operation Cast Lead against the Gaza Strip on December 27 to put an end to rocket attacks against southern Israeli towns.
At least 1,400 Palestinians died and 5,500 others were wounded during the 23-day offensive. Israel lost 10 soldiers in the fighting and three Israeli civilians were killed by Hamas rockets.
On January 18, Israel announced a unilateral ceasefire.
At least 16,000 residential buildings have been damaged and 5,000 others have been reduced to rubble in the Israeli attacks.
An 18-month Israeli blockade on Gaza resulted in a humanitarian crisis which has been intensified in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead. Gazans are in dire need of fuel, electricity, medicine and other basic needs.