Hamas leader: "Zionist Holocaust was a lie"
The Islamic Hamas movement's strong man in Gaza, Mahmoud al-Zahar, told a rally Thursday in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip that the "Zionist Holocaust ... was a lie."
He spoke to a rally to commemorate 43 Palestinians, most of them women and children, were killed in a January 2009 Israeli airstrike on a United Nations-run elementary school in the refugee camp, dpa reported.
During the Israeli army operation Cast Lead on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, which ran for three weeks ending in January 2009, around 1,440 Palestinians and around 5,000 wounded, while 12 Israelis died.
"The lie of the Zionist Holocaust crumbles with countless holocausts committed by the Zionists in Beit Hanoun, al-Fakhoura school and other places in Palestine," al-Zahar told the rally.
Israel said the military operation two years ago was carried out to rein in Gaza militants, mainly Hamas affiliated, who rained dozens of homemade rockets toward southern and central Israel before and during the three-week war.
The war ended with a ceasefire that has become fragile as minor militant groups have kept launching mortars and projectiles at southern Israel. Israeli warplanes have regularly retaliated against targets belonging to Hamas and other militant groups.
"We are close to triumph more than any time else," al-Zahar said. "All of us will sacrifice for Palestine, and the weakness of the Palestinian people won't last for too long. The Palestinian blood that was shed won't go in vain."