Israel Radio quoted Hamas sources as saying that captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit would only see the light of day when Israel acquiesces to the terrorist group's demands and releases the prisoners that it has demanded.The terrorists can wear their uniforms during these kinds of gatherings, but once Israel starts defending itself from the inevitable terror attacks, the uniforms get put away so that the Hamas terrorists can blend in with the civilian population to inflate the death toll among civilians.
Tens of thousands of Hamas supporters thronged downtown Gaza City Monday to mark the 22nd anniversary of the group's founding. Gaza was decked out in Islamic green, with Hamas flags fluttering from roofs, lampposts and cars. Some parents dressed small children in combat fatigues and green Hamas headbands.
The crowd packed an outdoor square where a huge banner draped over the wall of a building showed a picture of Jerusalem's main Islamic shrine and photos of senior Hamas figures.
Leaders made fiery speeches, bands played and scout troops marched in processions.
"Gaza is free. Gaza is steadfast," shouted a male singing troupe, whose members wore military camouflage. Haniyeh exuberantly waved Palestinian and Hamas flags to the crowd as he took the stage.
The group called on the Palestinians to expect "surprises" during the rally, sparking speculation that its leaders may exploit the event to announce a prisoner exchange agreement with Israel.
All Hamas has done is completely decimate the economic situation in Gaza, and this is what they promise for all territories they seek.
At the same time, Hamas leaders like Ismail Haniyeh claim that they won Operation Cast Lead, despite most of the casualties being Hamas terrorists and many of the Hamas weapons destroyed in the process. But, like I've noted in the past, unless Israel is determined to eradicate the group entirely, a single surviving member of Hamas leadership will claim victory amid the ruins of their own choosing. The terrorists claim victory just for surviving.
Meanwhile, there's no pressure on the terror group to release Shalit, even as the terrorists hope to secure the release of hundreds of terrorists from Israeli jails in a prisoner swap. Such swaps do nothing to improve Israel's security situation and provide Hamas with still more legitimacy and a propaganda win where none should exist. It rewards terror behavior, and yet this is the path that the world expects of Israel.
It is little wonder that Hamas thinks that they can outlast Israel's resolve.