In Gaza, 150,000 Cheer Hamas

PM calls for uprisings against Israeli occupation
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2007 1:01 PM CST
Palestinian Prime Minister of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, waves a Palestinian and a green Hamas flag in front of Hamas supporters during a rally in Gaza city, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007....   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 8 more images

(Newser) – Crowds filled Gaza City streets today, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Hamas in what BBC analysts are calling a critical test of public support. At least 150,000 rallied amid waving flags and banners as Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya preached “resistance and jihad,” blasting his moderate Fatah counterpart for assuming a mandate to negotiate with Israel.

Haniya reminded the crowd of its power to revolt against Israel and stage an uprising reminiscent of the 1987 and 2000 intifadas. Near a banner proclaiming “We Will Not Recognize Israel,” Haniya vowed to negotiate “on the basis of no victor, no vanquished and without conditions.” Hamas hoped to outdraw a Fatah memorial last month to Yasser Arafat, which attracted a quarter million supporters.