Hamas celebrated the development of two new missiles and mocked a deceased IDF soldier in a rally marking the first anniversary of Operation Protective Edge.

In a statement on the anniversary of last year’s summer war with Israel, Hamas claimed to have developed two new missile systems. Models of the missiles, which were named after Hamas commanders killed in Operation Protective Edge, were paraded at a rally on Wednesday. The event also mocked one of the two IDF soldiers whose bodies are being held hostage by Hamas.

Wednesday morning’s statement announced the development of the “al-Attar A” and the “Abu Shamala” missiles, named in memory of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades commanders Raed al-Attar and Mohammed Abu Shamala. Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida said, “Time will prove their effectiveness.”

The al-Qassam Brigades paraded models of the new missiles at a rally in Gaza City. Speaking to the crowd, Abu Obeida described the missiles as a “quantum leap” forward in Hamas’s projectile technology. Terrorists from Hamas and Islamic Jihad indiscriminately fired 4,564 rockets and mortars at Israel during Operation Protective Edge. In addition to replenishing its rocket arsenal, Hamas is working quickly to rebuild the terror tunnels destroyed during the war as well as training bases and other military infrastructure.

Oron goldin

IDF soldiers Oron Shaul (L) and Hadar Goldin. (IDF)

The rally also mocked late IDF soldier St. Sgt. Oron Shaul, whose body is being held captive by Hamas along with that of Lt. Hadar Goldin. The display featured a massive bronze fist extending out of a tank and clenching a set of dog tags. Inscribed on one of the dog tags is the name “Shaul Oron.” Shaul was killed along with six other members of the Golani Brigade when their armored personnel carrier was hit by anti-tank weaponry.

Senior Hamas officials have claimed in recent weeks that Israel approached the terrorist organization via a European intermediary to request that the remains of the two soldiers be returned. Hamas has not issued an official response to the request, but appears to be holding on to the bodies for use as a bargaining chip.

It was cleared for publication on Thursday that two Israeli citizens are being held by Hamas as well. One of them, 28-year-old Avera Mengitsu, has apparently been held hostage for the past 10 months. The other, a non-Jewish Israeli citizen, is also in the Gaza Strip and has reportedly entered Gaza on several previous occasions.

By: Sara Abramowicz, United with Israel