The pictures below were not taken in Hamas-ruled Gaza, but in Al Bireh, near the Palestinian Authority’s main Ramallah stronghold (and just a thirty minute drive from the heart of Israel’s capital), on April 30th.
The occasion– attended by over a thousand Hamas supporters – was the reburial of two Hamas operatives killed in 1998 after their remains, along with those of two other terrorists, were transferred from Israel to the Palestinian Authority.
The funeral procession was addressed by Hamas’ Khaled Masha’al by phone.
“…Mashaal said, “Our path is the resistance and jihad is our choice. This is the original Palestinian strategy. We want to build our homeland and liberate our land and holy sites, bring back the refugees and release the prisoners. In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, inside and outside, our choice is resistance and the rifle is our way. There is no history or future without jihad and resistance.” […]
The funeral and a later rally commemorating the death of the Awadallah brothers turned into a massive show of force for Hamas in Ramallah – also only two days after Abbas’s announcement that Hamas would recognize Israel and renounce violence once it joins a unity government with his Fatah faction.
Palestinians said that the large turnout was an indication of Hamas’s popularity among residents of the West Bank. At the two events, Hamas spokesman and supporters chanted slogans calling for revenge and more terrorist attacks against Israel.”
Despite its previously extensive and enthusiastic coverage of the Hamas-Fatah unity deal only days beforehand (see here, here, here, here and here), the BBC did not see fit to inform audiences of this show of Hamas force right in the heartland of the ‘moderate’ Palestinian Authority – and its obvious implications.