The recent war in the Gaza Strip was not limited to the borders of the strip and its goal was also the "liberation of Jerusalem and al-Aksa," the deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, said on Wednesday night during a rally in the Gaza Strip.
It was Haniyeh's first public appearance since the war in Gaza began seven weeks ago. An unlimited cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian militant groups in Gaza went into effect on Tuesday night.
Haniyeh added that the Palestinian resistance had prepared itself over several years for the battle to free Palestine from occupation.
He praised the residents of Gaza for their "steadfastness" during the fighting, which continued for 50 days and led to the deaths of over 2,100 Palestinians and the wounding of thousands more. He also praised the three Hamas military commanders who were killed in an Israeli airstrike in the last phase of the war.
The campaign had restored Palestinian pride, Haniyeh said, and the Palestinian resistance had "impressed the entire world with its unsurpassable achievement."
Reuters reported that Gaza's municipal workers cleared roads of rubble and fixed power lines on Wednesday, as the ceasefire took hold after 50 days of war, with displaced families expressing a sense of relief and frustration as they returned to their damaged homes.
Thousands of families displaced from areas of northern and eastern Gaza, the location of some of the most intense fighting of the conflict, returned to their districts, many to find their homes partially or completely destroyed.
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