Top Hamas official claims group barely scathed by Gaza operation

Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk, September 18, 2014 [photo credit: AP/Khalil Hamra]

The summer war in Gaza barely set back Hamas’s military capabilities, the movement’s political second-in-command said in comments published this week, countering Israeli claims that the movement was significantly harmed during Operation Protective Edge.

After all the bombing and war, Israel reduced Hamas’s military capabilities by less than 7%,” Abu Marzouk said in a lengthy interview with Egyptian daily A-Shorouk published Monday.

Abu Marzouk also admitted that the kidnappers of Israeli teenagers Gil-ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrah on June 12 belonged to Hamas, but carried out the operation “as individuals, without the knowledge of the organization’s leadership.”

“Palestinians, regardless of their organizational affiliation, will never stop looking for ways to free their prisoners,” Abu Marzouk added. “Therefore, I can’t rule out future kidnapping attempts to free the prisoners in Israeli jails”…