Not long after Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert declared victory in their 22-day long attack on the Gaza Strip, Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh declared victory on behalf of the Hamas government.
“The enemy has failed to achieve its goals,” Haniyeh insisted. He also declared the war, which killed over 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis (At least four of which were killed by friendly fire) a “popular victory” for the Palestinians.
Indeed, while the Israeli political and military leadership has maintained that all of their goals were accomplished, it appears that few if any were. The rocket fire, which the attacks were supposed to stop, didn’t end until the attacks halted. Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin likewise declared the goal of destroying the smuggling tunnels a failure, saying not all of them had been destroyed and the damage done could likely be fixed in “several months.”
In addition, Haniyeh defended the decision to declare their own ceasefire in the wake of Israel halting their attacks as “wise and responsible.” The decision appears to have been controversial amongst Hamas leaders, as other high ranking officials previously ruled out any halt in fighting until Israeli forces completely withdrew from the Gaza Strip.