[News] Victory celebrations in the streets of Gaza after prayers

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Aug 29 13:29:45 EDT 2014

*Victory celebrations in the streets of Gaza after prayers*

Published today (updated) 29/08/2014 18:57

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinians across the Gaza Strip turned out in 
the thousands for prayers and a victory march on Friday, as many savored 
their first opportunity in the 50 days to attend Friday prayers in Gaza 
mosques without fear of Israeli bombardment.

Although a local council estimates one-third of mosques were damaged in 
the Israeli assault -- including 72 totally destroyed -- Palestinians 
flocked to services as political leaders took to the podiums to stress 
the need for national unity after what they deemed an unprecedented 
victory against Israel.

Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya said during a Friday prayer sermon 
in a mosque in the devastated eastern Gaza neighborhood of Shujaiyya 
that Palestinians have entered "a new age today and a new stage of 
national unity by choosing to win and support the resistance."

"The war on Gaza should eliminate all previous internal disagreements," 
he added, calling upon the national unity government to fulfill its 
responsibilities related to ensuring Israel open the borders and allow 

"In this war, we captured back the rights that Israel stole while taking 
the (political) division as an excuse," he said, highlighting that since 
a April 24 Palestinian unity agreement the nation was better equipped to 
confront Israeli aggression.

On Tuesday, Palestinian forces signed a long-term ceasefire agreement 
with Israel in what many deemed a major victory for the resistance 
against Israel, after a seven-week bombardment that left more than 2,140 
dead and more than 100,000 homeless.

Israel conceded to key Palestinian demands -- including "easing" the 
eight-year old siege, reducing the 500-meter buffer zone near the 
border, and extending the fishing zone off the coast -- while also 
giving up its primary demand, the demilitarization of Gaza.

Although other Palestinian demands remain unfulfilled and are still left 
to be discussed at a second round of talks in September, celebrations 
have broken out across Palestine in recent days.

On Friday, many joined a march organized by the militant group 
Palestinian Islamic Jihad to celebrate what they called a "victory of 
the resistance."

Marches set off from mosques in Gaza City following Friday prayers and 
ended at a stage in al-Wihda Street, where members of the al-Quds 
Brigades, Islamic Jihad's armed wing, paraded through the streets.

"Today, we are celebrating the third Israeli offensive on besieged 
civilians and the third achievement on the way to liberating Jerusalem," 
Muhammad al-Hindi, a Jihad official, said.

The senior official thanked all those that supported the Palestinians 
during the offensive, and called for a new national strategy involving 
the rebuilding of the PLO.

The Palestinian Authority must stop all security coordination with 
Israel, he said, adding that the Palestinians must go to the ICC to 
pursue Israeli war criminals.

The al-Quds Brigades also announced the appointment of a new military 
spokesperson, known as Abu Hamza.
Israel was 'defeated'*

Deputy head of Hamas politburo Moussa Abu Marzouq said in a press 
conference in Rafah that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu had 
"achieved none of his terms during the indirect negotiations in Cairo," 
particularly regarding the key Israeli demand for Palestinian disarmament.

"They were defeated in their ground operations," he added, stressing 
that in addition to the 64 soldiers killed and more than 1,000 soldiers 
wounded, "Ben Gurion Airport was hit for the first time."

"We won the ground operation and we won the aerial operation," he 
continued, adding that the ceasefire with Israel is not permanent.

"Gaza taught all of the world's nations how to resist and fight back, 
and what it is like to win."

At the same time, however, Abu Marzouq acknowledged that the ceasefire 
deal with Israel had not immediately accomplished all of Palestinian 

Despite a promise to ease the eight-year siege of Gaza, restrict the 
border buffer zone, and increase the fishing areas allotted to 
Palestinian fisherman, he acknowledged that the issues of re-opening the 
airport and seaport as well as ensuring freedom of movement between the 
Gaza Strip and West Bank "had to be delayed."

He said, however, that negotiations will continue in Cairo in a month 
and that negotiations would not have a limit.
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