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Nakhala says Israel failed to achieve goals as four-day truce in Gaza takes effect

This grab from Lebanon's al-Mayadeen television shows Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ziyad Nakhalah making a televised address on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023.

Islamic Jihad Secretary General Ziyad Nakhalah has said that Israel failed to achieve its stated goals in the Gaza war as a four-day truce took effect in the besieged territory after seven weeks of massacres.

The truce took effect at 7:00 am (0500 GMT) on Friday after a night of intense Israeli bombardment. It stipulates the release of Israelis held in Gaza in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.

"Had it not been for the losses on the battlefield, the Zionist regime would not have agreed to the ceasefire agreement and the exchange of prisoners," Nakhalah said in a televised address.

He said the resistance will "force the Zionist enemy to exchange all the prisoners on a wider scale".

"The rest of the enemy's prisoners including officers and soldiers will not be released without the release of the rest of our prisoners, and this issue is related to the end of the war and aggression."

Nakhala said the resistance front will continue fighting and prevent the enemy from reaching its objectives.

"The enemy's goals of ending the resistance and crushing it still in place, so we must continue the battle to neutralize the enemy's goals. The Zionist enemy will continue its aggression more brutally."

Nakhalah said Operation al-Aqsa Storm on Oct. 7 has caused an earthquake within the Israeli regime and shed light on the Western support for Israel.

He thanked resistance groups in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen for courageously supporting Palestinians. Nakhalah underlined that those who speak of governing Gaza should think of protecting their own people instead.

In Khan Younis town in southern Gaza, housing thousands of families displaced from the north, streets filled with people venturing out of home and shelters.

"We are full of hope, optimism, and pride in our resistance. We are proud of our achievements, despite the pain this caused," resident Khaled Abu Anzah told Reuters.

The first prisoners would be freed at 4 p.m. (1400 GMT), with the total number rising to 50 over the four days, Qatar's foreign ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari said in Doha.  

The prisoners were expected to be released to the Red Cross and an Egyptian security delegation that traveled to Gaza on Thursday, then brought out through Egypt for transfer to Israel, Egyptian security sources said.

Israel will release 39 Palestinians prisoners, among them 24 women and 15 teenagers, in the occupied West Bank in exchange for the 13 hostages due to be freed on Friday, a Palestinian official said.

Israel says the ceasefire could be extended beyond the initial four days if Hamas continues to release hostages at a rate of at least 10 per day. A Palestinian source has said the
total released could reach 100.  

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