Hamas commemorates anniversary of founder's death
Published Sunday 23/03/2014 (updated) 25/03/2014 09:33
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Tens of thousands of Hamas supporters on Sunday gathered at al-Saraya Square in Gaza City to commemorate the anniversary of the death of the movement’s founder, Sheikh Ahmad Yasin.
Yasin's 2004 death and that of prominent leaders Abdul-Aziz al-Rantisi and Ibrahim Maqadmah were commemorated by hundreds of supporters including Hamas-affiliated lawmakers and other faction leaders.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement that “the festival is a message to all those who count on weakening Hamas to tell them that their expectations won’t come true as Hamas’ popularity is on the rise.”
Hamas-affiliated police officers deployed heavily around al-Saraya Square to secure the celebrators.
From 8 a.m., Hamas supporters started to take to square from across the Gaza Strip. University students rallied in large numbers to the commemoration at 11 a.m.
A spokesman of Hamas-run ministry of health Ashraf al-Qidra said a state of alert was announced in all hospitals and medical centers.