Hamas holds anniversary celebration / PHOTO

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya on Monday said his group remains committed to the ending of Israeli invasion.

Hamas holds anniversary celebration / PHOTO


Hamas leader Ismail Haniya on Monday said his group remains committed to the ending of Israeli invasion.

Tens of thousands of supporters waving green banners gathered in Gaza City on Monday to mark the 22nd anniversary of the founding of the Islamist group that rules the Israel-besieged coastal strip.



"We will never give up on Palestine from the river to the sea," Haniya told the crowd, referring to the pre-1948 borders of the British Palestine Mandate between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

"It is not enough for Hamas to liberate Gaza, nor to establish an emirate in Gaza, nor a state, nor an independent entity... Hamas strives to liberate all of Palestine."



Supporters carried large green banners and portraits of Ahmed Yassin, the wheelchair-bound cleric who founded and led the group until Israeli assassination killed him in 2004.

"In the 22 years since its founding, Hamas has been able to realise a large part of its goals and to overcome every obstacle it has faced, from prison, exile, assassinations and elections," senior Hamas leader Mahmud Zahar said.



"Our understanding of the resistance is total, and is not limited to armed conflict," he added in an interview with a news website.

Founded in 1987 shortly after the beginning of the first intifada, or uprising, against Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Hamas was inspired by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.



The group remains pledged to the eventual ending of Israeli invasion and the establishment of an Islamic state on the pre-1948 borders of the British Palestine Mandate.

Hamas won a landslide victory in Palestinian elections in 2006, routing the long-dominant secular Fatah party led by the Western-backed president Mahmud Abbas, and took over Gaza in June 2007 after months of factional unrest.



Israel killed nearly 1500 Palestinians in Gaza offensive and destroyed homes, hospitals, schools, mosques in the besieged land.



Agencies

Last Mod: 15 Aralık 2009, 11:17
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