Hamas movement described the resignation of Israel's defense minister Avigdor Lieberman as a "political victory for Gaza”, saying it is a recognition of defeat and failure to confront the Palestinian resistance.
“Lieberman's resignation is a recognition of defeat and incompetence in the face of the Palestinian resistance, a political victory for Gaza, which has succeeded in steadfastness to cause a political shake in the arena of occupation," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement following the minister’s announcement.
Lieberman resigned on Tuesday in protest over the cease-fire reached with Gaza following two days of heavy fighting during which hundreds of rockets were launched on settlements in Gaza’s enclave and Israel launched dozens of air strikes on the Strip.
At a news conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday, the outgoing defense minister said the military response to the rocket fire had been "insufficient and inappropriate".
Lieberman denounced the cease-fire as "surrendering to terror" adding that that the government was making a serious mistake by accepting a ceasefire with Hamas.
"We are buying quiet for the short term at the price of serious damage to national security in the long term."
Lieberman's resignation left a resounding joy in Gaza and people took it to the streets with celebrations. Dozens gathered in front of the home of Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh, whom Lieberman had vowed to assassinate before his term ended.
Dozens of demonstrators chanted in support of the resistance and against Lieberman, and raised the slogans "Gaza toppled him” as they distributed sweets to passersby.
Palestinian factions welcomed Lieberman's resignation with Palestinian "Jihad" describing the sudden departure as a victory.
“Behold the political slaughter dealt to leaders of the occupation who aren’t capable of dealing with Gaza,” the organization’s spokesperson said in a statement.
A member of the Central Committee of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), Talal Abu Zarifa, told the local news agency “Safa” that Lieberman's resignation is an indication of his failure, since taking office, in keeping all the promises he made to the Israeli voters.
Member of the political bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Rabah Muhanna stated that this resignation confirms that the strategic resistance began to affect the internal situation in Israel.
The Palestinian celebration was met with anger in the Israeli street as hundreds of people marched at the entrance of Sderot over Israel’s agreement for a ceasefire with Hamas. Protesters blocked roads and burned tires, with some chanting, “Bibi go home,” using a nickname for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to Hadashot TV, some southern residents planned further demonstrations and road blockages in Tel Aviv on Wednesday to protest the truce.
Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay supported the protesters, saying their anger was a “justified” response to the government “forsaking” them. He said the government had failed the south by “neglecting” the issue of Gaza since the 2014 war.
“This is not the time for another fragile truce,” he asserted, adding: “this is the time for a true diplomatic initiative in Gaza, that will lean on the recommendations of the security establishment.”
Many southern residents were unhappy with the decision, as one told Hadashot it’s better they suffer in shelters and they put an end to it once and for all.
“A month from today the same thing will happen…it doesn’t make sense that our lives are like this,” added the resident.