Hamas Marks 30th Anniversary During Time of Hardship and Creeping Conflict in Gaza

Hamas blames an Israeli-Egyptian border blockade, lack of support from Arab and Islamic nations and Abbas’ alleged attempts to undermine the group for the hardships in Gaza

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Hamas supporters take part in a rally marking the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist movement, in Gaza City, on December 14, 2017.
Hamas supporters take part in a rally marking the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist movement, in Gaza City, on December 14, 2017. Credit: AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED
Haaretz
The Associated Press
Haaretz
The Associated Press

Many thousands of Palestinians have gathered in Gaza City to mark the 30th anniversary of the founding of Hamas, the Islamic militant group that dominates the territory. The anniversary comes as Israel and Gaza enter their eighth straight day of trading fire across the border in the wake of Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Buses brought in men, women and children brandishing Hamas’ green flags or sporting green scarves to the al-Katiba Square for Thursday’s rally.

The anniversary comes at a low point for Hamas.

A decade after seizing Gaza by force, it has been compelled to seek reconciliation with its Fatah rival, led by President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank.

Hamas blames an Israeli-Egyptian border blockade, lack of support from Arab and Islamic nations and Abbas’ alleged attempts to undermine the group for the hardships in Gaza. This includes 43 percent unemployment and crippling blackouts.

Implementation of an Egyptian-brokered Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal has been slow.

Masked militants from the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, a military wing of Hamas, hold their rifles while ride vehicles as they commemorate the 30th anniversary of their group, in Gaza City, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017.
Masked militants from the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, a military wing of Hamas, hold their rifles while ride vehicles as they commemorate the 30th anniversary of their group, in Gaza, Dec. 13, 2017.Credit: AP Photo/Adel Hana
Palestinian girls supporting Hamas speak with each as they take part in a rally marking the 30th anniversary of Hamas' founding, in Gaza City December 14, 2017.
Palestinian girls supporting Hamas speak with each as they take part in a rally marking the 30th anniversary of Hamas' founding, in Gaza City December 14, 2017. Credit: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
Palestinian women supporting Hamas take part in a rally marking the 30th anniversary of Hamas' founding, in Gaza City December 14, 2017.
Palestinian women supporting Hamas take part in a rally marking the 30th anniversary of Hamas' founding, in Gaza City December 14, 2017. Credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
Palestinian Hamas supporters take part in a rally marking the 30th anniversary of Hamas' founding, in Gaza City December 14, 2017.
Palestinian Hamas supporters take part in a rally marking the 30th anniversary of Hamas' founding, in Gaza City December 14, 2017. Credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
A Palestinian child wearing Hamas headband takes part in a rally marking the 30th anniversary of Hamas' founding, in Gaza City December 14, 2017. R
A Palestinian child wearing Hamas headband takes part in a rally marking the 30th anniversary of Hamas' founding, in Gaza City December 14, 2017. Credit: EUTERS/Suhaib Salem
A Palestinian Hamas militant takes part in a rally marking the 30th anniversary of Hamas' founding, in Gaza City December 14, 2017.
A Palestinian Hamas militant takes part in a rally marking the 30th anniversary of Hamas' founding, in Gaza City December 14, 2017. Credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

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