Hamas celebrated the mass carnage and terrorism it has conducted against Israeli citizens since its inception, vowing to carry on its war against the Jewish State until it is eliminated.
Thousands of Hamas members and supporters participated on Sunday in a rally organized by the Palestinian terror organization in Gaza to commemorate the 31st anniversary of its establishment, one of a series of events and rallies to celebrate the occasion.
Hamas was founded in 1987, soon after the First Intifada broke out, as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
Hamas terrorists in military fatigues paraded alongside children with rockets and heavy machine guns during the rally.
“Hamas is teaching a new generation of Palestinian children to hate their neighbors,” the IDF stated.
The Islamist group claimed that a large turnout reflects widespread support despite domestic and external challenges.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh praised a recent series of deadly attacks against Israel in Judea and Samaria. He said such attacks are “a response” to the anticipated American peace proposal that Palestinians believe will favor Israel.
Hamas has “fought off the US projects represented by the “Deal of the Century” that poses serious and strategic threats to the Palestinian cause and the regional interests,” the terror group stated. “The US-adopted project was planned to legitimize the Israeli occupation at the expense of the national rights and interests of the Palestinian people.”
Haniyeh also called on Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas to meet in Gaza or Cairo to end a decade of bloody inter-Palestinian feuding.
“Hamas reiterates a full rejection of all forms of normalization with the Israeli occupation, under whatever pretexts that may be adopted. Normalization is an awful crime and a stab in the back of the Palestinian people,” Hamas stated.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry responded by tweeting that “31 years since this terror organization was formed, Hamas continues to rob Palestinians of their future and Gaza of its’ resources, sowing death, hatred and destruction for both Israelis and Palestinians.”
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) 16 בדצמבר 2018
For its 28th anniversary, Hamas published a special file which included a recounting of its “successes” against Israel: the firing of 16,377 rockets at Israel, 86 suicide bombings that murdered hundreds, 36 stabbing attacks, over 500 infiltration attacks, over 250 sniper attacks, over 80 attacks on Israeli armored targets and 26 abductions of live or dead Israelis since its inception in 1987.
The numbers have since grown.
AP contributed to this report.