A top Hamas bomb-maker has sent an uncompromising message to Israel.
“You have occupied our land. Now you are leaving Gaza humiliated,” said Mohammed Deif, wanted by Israel for the last 15 years, in a videotape. He added that what he called “resistance to the Israeli occupation” would continue and urged the Palestinian Authority not to try to dismantle radical groups. Deif has been in hiding since surviving an Israeli strike three years ago. Israeli Foreign Ministry official Gideon Meir said: “This declaration proves once again that the Palestinian Authority’s responsibility is to fight the terrorist organisations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad.” Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets of the Jabalya refugee camp to celebrate the Israeli withdrawal. It was an opportunity for extremists and the Palestinian Authority to close ranks but their already strained ties are likely to be sorely tested by elections early next year.