The defeat of the Zionist occupation from the Gaza Strip on the twelfth of September 2005 marked an important turning point in contemporary Palestinian history and a quantum leap in the development and expansion of the capabilities of the Palestinian resistance.
Ex-Prime Minister of the occupation government at the time, Ariel Sharon, justified his defeat in Gaza as a “unilateral” step within a plan to improve life in Gaza and the Palestinian economy. But his defeat was a result of the ferocity and valor of the Palestinian resistance that turned Gaza into unbearable life for the occupiers in the colonial settlements that forced them to flee.
Today, the twelfth of September marks the sixteenth anniversary of the Palestinian resistance defeating the Zionist occupation from the land of Gaza after an occupation that lasted 38 years, to live in Gaza in unparalleled pride and dignity.
Serving as strategic points of control for the occupation, 25 colonial settlements represented about 35% of the Gaza Strip land. During the occupation of Gaza, the zionists plundered the natural resources of the Strip represented in the theft of fresh groundwater and dunes.
A total of 25 colonial settlements perched on the land of Gaza has always been like cancerous glands that divided the governorates and regions of the Strip that resulted in paralyzing the movement of its people, finally disappeared in 2005 after being defeated by the strikes of the Palestinian resistance.
Since the first day of Al-Aqsa Intifada, the Palestinian arena, especially the Gaza Strip, witnessed an escalating state of resistance, and witnessed development in the Palestinian resistance tools compared to the first intifada, whose most prominent tools were "stones" and "Molotov cocktails".
All points of contact with the occupation in the Gaza Strip witnessed daily confrontations, which quickly developed into incursion to the colonial settlements and shootings at its soldiers. At that time, the resistance developed and manufactured many weapons such as rocket-propelled grenades, anti-armor, grenades, and explosive belts.
This rapid development of the resistance's military capabilities during the Intifada raised the bill to protect the colonial settlers in Gaza which pushed Sharon to withdraw from Gaza.
Weapon of Tunnels
During the five years of the intifada in the Gaza Strip; The Palestinian resistance, led by Al-Qassam Brigades, used all the tools and options to confront the Zionist occupation. Al-Qassam Brigades invented a new method in resisting the occupation, which was digging tunnels and targeting Zionist military sites.
Al-Qassam carried out, through the Strategic Tunnels Weapon, many operations that upended the equation of the conflict with the occupation, and pushed it to flee from Gaza, most notably the Tarmid site operation in September 2001, Hardoun site operation in December 2003, Mahfouza operation in June 2004, and "Volcanoes of Anger" operation in December 2004.
The Palestinian resistance caused the Zionist occupation great human and material losses. During the years of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, the resistance, led by the Al-Qassam Brigades, carried out 68 resistance operations varied between shooting, detonating vehicles, and attacking the colonial settlements, which led to the killing of 135 Zionist colonists, including 106 soldiers and officers, and 29 colonial settlers, while dozens were injured.
The year 2004, the year that preceded the withdrawal from Gaza, witnessed the highest number of deaths among the occupation soldiers, as 46 soldiers were killed, which made the presence of the occupation in Gaza and its proximity to the Palestinian resistance impossible.
Although the occupation targeted Hamas and its leaders since its inception, it led the resistance towards the right path and became its shield against all attempts to give up its weapons that were practiced by the Palestinian Authority and its agents.
The Zionist defeat from the Gaza Strip enabled the Palestinian resistance the freedom of work to develop its various capabilities, as the resistance worked to prepare new tactics in facing the Israeli occupation.
This development enabled the resistance to withstand the continuous aggression of the Zionist occupation against our Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. It also enabled it to thwart the goals of the occupation in eliminating the Palestinian resistance, which has become a nightmare for the leaders of the occupation.
The withdrawal from Gaza became a major turning point in the development of the resistance’s performance and weapons, and the expansion of its battle with the enemy. The Palestinian people remained protective and supportive of the resistance despite the siege imposed on Gaza.
The development of the resistance was reflected on its performance on the ground during the 2014 Battle of "Al-Asf al-Ma'akul", as the resistance carried out many unique military operations, all the way to the Battle of Saif al-Quds, as the range of the resistance’s missiles, expanded to reach into the Zionist depth in the occupied territories.
Despite conspiracies of the siege and aggression, Gaza managed to withstand and establish a stage to be a major player in the Palestinian, Arab and international equation.
Sixteen years after the occupation was driven out of Gaza, which Hamas considers a national achievement and a prelude to liberating the rest of the Palestinian land, the resistance will remain active in all the Palestinian cities headed by the town of Beita with all tools, forms, accumulation, and the increase of its strength, until the defeat of the occupation from all of Palestine.