More than 5,000 Hamas supporters rallied in Gaza on Friday, as a leader of the Islamic militant group emerged from hiding to declare victory in the 23-day Israeli offensive that devastated much of the Palestinian territory. He also feared some hiding enemies are indulged to break Gaza truce. Hamas lawmaker Khalil al-Hayeh appeared in public for the first time since the war's start on Dec. 27 and remained defiant despite Hamas' heavy losses. "We thank God when we see our houses bombed and our institutions destroyed, but our people say yes to the resistance and yes to martyrdom for the sake of God," al-Hayeh said, standing in front of the damaged Palestinian parliament building. "We say proudly that Gaza has won the war, the resistance has won the war, and Hamas has won the war." Israeli launched its offensive to stop eight years of near-daily militant rocket fire from Gaza at southern Israeli towns. Nearly 1,300 Palestinians were killed in the fighting, about half of them civilians, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. Thirteen Israelis were also killed, three of them civilians. The aerial and ground offensive ended with a tentative cease-fire on Jan. 18. Hamas has since resumed its rocket fire toward Israel. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he hopes the truce would hold. But he also warned Israel would strike hard against Hamas once more if it continued to fire rockets. "Hamas was hit like it was never hit before," Barak told Israel's television channel. "If we will have to hit Hamas again, we will." President Barack Obama's visiting Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, warned there would be challenges and setbacks ahead in efforts to forge a lasting peace.