The secretary general of the Gaza-based Islamic Jihad resistance movement says the best way for Israel to prevent more of its forces from being taken captive or killed is to own up to its defeat in the face of the Palestinian resistance.
Ziad al-Nakhala made the remarks in a televised speech on Sunday, which was the second day of Operation al-Aqsa Storm, the biggest military operation against the occupying regime in years.
Israeli media outlets say more than 700 Israeli settlers and troops have been killed as a result of the operation and over 2,000 Israelis have been injured. Meanwhile, unofficial estimates indicate that approximately 750 Israeli soldiers and settlers are missing.
"[The number of] the enemy's prisoners of war, including soldiers and settlers that we have captured, [amounts to] dozens and more. In fact, I can say that their number is far higher than this," Nakhala said, adding, "The Islamic Jihad alone has more than 30 enemy captives."
"The enemy's cabinet should surrender to this fact and [know that] the shortest way to prevent more of its forces from being taken captive or killed is to admit defeat," the leader of Islamic Jihad said.
His remarks came after in early Sunday, the spokesman for the military wing of Hamas resistance movement, which is also based in Gaza, said the number of Israelis taken captive in the ongoing operation against the regime was far more than "dozens" that had been claimed by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"Today, you talked about dozens of prisoners and we reassure you, Netanyahu, that your prisoners are many times more than this number, and you must keep track of your soldiers well," said Abu Ubaida, the spokesman for al-Qassam Brigades.
'Enemy is broken'
Elsewhere in his remarks, Nakhala said the Palestinian operation laid bare the enemy's weakness and rendered it paralyzed.
"It became obvious [through this operation] that the enemy can be defeated, and in fact, it is broken, and [this is why it] sought the United States' help from the early hours of the operation," he said.
The leader of Islamic Jihad noted that the enemy forces' performance since the beginning of the operation, including their captivity by resistance fighters and abandoning their weapons, "serves as a clear testament to the fact that their army is much weaker than many people in the world believe."
Addressing the resistance fighters, Nakhala said, "You have gained the world's attention and hit the global headlines under the toughest circumstances, because you possess the will power and have humiliated an enemy that is armed to the teeth."