World Bulletin / News Desk
Flexing its military muscles, the Palestinian resistance group Hamas organized a military parade on Monday in Gaza City, several miles from the burial place of former Israeli premier Ariel Sharon.
"The parade is a message to the Israeli enemy," Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of the Hamas-led Gaza government, told the ceremony.
"Our fight is with the Israeli occupation, not with any Palestinian or any party in the region," he asserted.
Interior Minister Fathi Hammad said security agencies will continue to protect Palestinian resistance groups.
"As one of the Israeli criminals is being buried nearby, we are building a nation here," he told the ceremony.
Sharon, 85, died on Saturday after eight years in a coma.
He was buried in his farm in the Negev Desert some 10km from the Gaza Strip.
"Sharon, who killed our leaders, is being buried a few kilometers away," said one Hamas military officer. "Now, we are more organized and powerful."
When Sharon was a prime minister from 2001 to 2006, Israel assassinated a host of leading Hamas figures, including spiritual leader Ahmed Yassin and senior leaders Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi and Salah Shahata.
Analysts said the military parade was meant to send a message to Israel.
"It shows that all Israeli attempts to weaken Hamas had failed," Hani al-Basos, political science professor at Gaza's Islamic University, told Anadolu Agency.
"The Palestinian group still exists and has become more powerful," he added.
The analyst said that Sharon had tried to crush the Palestinian resistance.
"His term was fraught with assassinations of Palestinian political and resistance leaders," he recalled.
Ibrahim al-Madhoun, the head of the Gaza-based Future research center, agrees.
"Sharon had carried out several massacres against Palestinians and pursued a policy of assassinations to undermine the resistance, but his policy had failed," he told AA.
"Despite Sharon's attempts, Hamas joined politics, formed a government and boosted its military wing," al-Madhoun said.
He noted that despite two Israeli onslaughts in 2009 and 2012, Hamas remained resilient and still has the ability to harm Israel.
"This is Hamas's message to Israel," he said.
Egyptian claims ownership of Sharon's burial site
An Egyptian citizen is claiming ownership of the Negev Desert site where late Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has been buried.
"We have all the documents to prove our ownership of the land on which the farm was built," Fayez Selim Suleiman al-Zerbawi told Anadolu Agency.
Sharon, who was pronounced dead on Saturday, was buried Monday in his farm in the Negev Desert.
But al-Zerbawi, now over 60, insisted that his grandfathers, who used to live in the Negev Desert city of Beersheba, had bought the land in 1920.
He added that the land was registered in his grandfathers' name before the Negev Desert was occupied by Israel.
Al-Zerbawi said his grandfathers had to leave Beersheba to the Egyptian city of al-Arish in 1948 with the occupation of Palestine.
Despite this, the family still holds the title deeds for the land.
"The title deeds were officially recognized by the British and the Turks during their rule of the area," al-Zerbawi said.
He added that his family members had filed a lawsuit in Israeli courts to retain the farm from Sharon, but the Israeli courts failed to issue a ruling in the case.
He noted that the family had later presented the title deeds to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry so that it can take action in this regard, but the Foreign Ministry did not do anything either.
"I'm saddened because the man who usurped our land during his life usurped it in his death," lamented al-Zerbawi.
For millions of Arabs and Palestinians, Sharon was a war criminal.
He is blamed for the 1982 massacre of Sabra and Shatila during the Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon.
In 1983, Sharon was forced to resign as defense minister for failing to stop the massacre, in which thousands of civilians have reportedly been killed.
Sharon also sparked the second Palestinian uprising in 2000 by his provocative visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third holiest shrine, in the company of heavily armed Israeli guards.
"We will continue to pass the title deeds from one generation to the other until one day we restore our right," said a defiant al-Zerbawi.Last Mod: 14 Ocak 2014, 10:03