In an August 16, 2019 speech, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar promised that Hamas will never give up its weapons, its tunnels, or its missiles, of which he said Hamas has many. He promised to the Palestinian refugees from Ashkelon that, on the day of battle, Ashkelon will be destroyed and that hundreds of missiles will be launched into Israel in a single salvo. In a similar speech he gave on August 13, Sinwar praised older generations of Palestinians for "providing" their offspring to Hamas and for never hesitating to sacrifice everything dear to them "on the altar of liberation and return." Sinwar promised that Hamas will amass power in preparation for Palestine's liberation and that it will purify the holy places in Palestine. Mentioning a Hamas operation that took place during 2014's war in Gaza in which Hamas militants emerged from a tunnel in Israel and killed five soldiers, Sinwar said: "We saw the signs of defeat on the faces of the [enemy's] soldiers… [Our militants] stepped with their boots on [their] necks and heads." The audience shouted "Allah Akbar", and Sinwar ceremoniously held up a sword and a Palestinian flag. Both speeches aired on Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas-Gaza).
Following are excerpts:
August 16, 2019
Yahya Sinwar: I promise you that no matter what, we will never give up our weapons, our force, or our capabilities. We will not give up our tunnels and our missiles, of which we have many. In order to make the refugees from Ashkelon happy… I promise you, oh refugees from Ashkelon, that, on the day of the battle, we shall destroy Ashkelon and bring it down on their heads. On the day of battle, we will not launch a salvo of 4, 5, 10, 20, or 50 missiles. We will launch hundreds of missiles in a single salvo.
August 13, 2019
With the grace of Allah, we will complete this march, or which our [Palestinian] people have sacrificed so many martyrs, and for which so many Palestinians have been wounded or imprisoned. With the grace of Allah, we will complete this march with you – with your souls, with your lives, and with the spirit that beats in your hearts. Oh elders of the tribes, you have instilled this in your sons. We have never felt that you were being miserly in providing us your offspring. We have never felt that you were hesitant in sacrificing everything that is dear to you. You have sacrificed your offspring – your sons – on the altar of liberation and return. We will complete this path, Allah willing. We will amass power in preparation for our return and our liberation. If Allah decrees for the day of His victory and conquest to come, we will lead you, your offspring, your sons, to wash this nation of its shame and to purify the holy places, Allah willing.
We saw the signs of defeat on the faces of the [enemy's] soldiers on the day when our sons emerged from the belly of the Earth – from the tunnels – and fought them and shot them from point blank. They stepped with their boots on the necks and heads [of the Israeli soldiers]. None of their soldiers dared to open fire when your sons fought them face to face. From here, from Sharqiya, I promise them on your behalf and on behalf of the families and tribes here and throughout the Gaza Strip that, if Allah so decrees, we shall rain down hundreds of missiles on [Israel's] cities in a single salvo, Allah willing.