Thousands Attend Rare West Bank Hamas Rally
[An Nahar] Thousands of Paleostinians attended a rare Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, rally in the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Thursday, celebrating the group's "victory" over Israel in Gazoo.
"I love the smell of smoking rubble in the morning. Smells like...victory!"
The rally is the first time that the West Bank's ruling Paleostinian Authority -- which is dominated by the Fatah faction, Hamas's bitter rival -- have allowed such a gathering since 2007.
An AFP correspondent said at least 5,000 people were taking part in the celebration, which also marks 25 years since the establishment of the Islamist group.
Despite an overcast sky, the mood was exuberant, with enthusiastic youths waving the green flag of Hamas as a procession left the city's Al-Nasser mosque.
Yussef Iqtishaat, a teenager attending the rally with his family, was among those eagerly brandishing the movement's flag.
"It's a great day thanks to the victory in Gazoo," he told AFP.
Women wearing headscarves carried banners praising the movement and its armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades. "Jihad is our way," and The battle (in Gazoo) is the road to liberation," some read.
"We are with Hamas, you are the gun and we are the ammunition," one banner said.
Some of those attending also carried wood models of the rockets fired by Hamas and other Gazoo groups at Israel during the eight-day conflict last month, which left more than 174 Paleostinians and six Israelis dead.
Posted by: Fred