Hamas Reclaims Control; Gazans Face $2B in Damage

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 19, 2009 7:32 PM CST
Palestinian boys, stand on top of an Israeli Army rocket launcher, left behind by the Israeli Army after they withdrew from Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza strip, Monday, Jan. 19, 2009.   (Anja Niedringhaus)
camera-icon View 6 more images

(Newser) – Uniformed Hamas fighters emerged on Gaza City's streets today as leaders of the group vowed to restore order in the shattered Palestinian territory, the AP reports. Hamas proclaimed victory as Gazans picked through the rubble, which included some 4,100 homes and 1,500 factories valued at nearly $2 billion. Hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid will be needed immediately to help Gazans survive, a UN chief said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon planned to travel to Gaza tomorrow to inspect damage and visit UN facilities hit in the fighting. Israelis hope Gaza's civilians will blame their militant rulers for provoking the Israeli assault, the AP notes. Hamas, however, raced to capitalize on anger toward Israel. "We are still ready and capable of firing more rockets," a Hamas spokesman said.