“We will win in Jerusalem and in Palestine, the whole of Palestine,” al-Zahar told the cheering crowd. During the event, participants yelled out “Allahu akbar” (God is great) and chanted in support of Izz al-Din al-Qassam, Hamas’ military wing, calling on the group to continue the liberation operation and refuse to disarm.
Tuesday’s rally marked the climax of several parades and rallies held by the Islamist group in the past two days.
The rally was led by dozens of jeeps carrying gunmen, rockets, and shells, while Islamic militant songs calling for liberating the whole of Palestine were played.
Al-Zahar, who was the keynote speaker, said the victory was achieved thanks to the blood of assassinated Hamas leaders Ahmed Yassin, Abdul Aziz Rantisi, and other martyrs.
“We know our people is expecting us to continue the liberation journey, until the flag of Islam is raised over Jerusalem,” he said.
Al-Zahar also said his group would continue to refuse calls to disarm.
“This is the weapon we used to crush the heads of the Zionist enemies. This weapon is at the service of the people and homeland…we won’t use it against anyone, but it must be in our hands because Jerusalem awaits us,” he said.
“The Zionist enemy knows no other language aside from the language of fire directed on him by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades,” he said. “We’ll continue to develop our arms industry.”
Al-Zahar’s remarks came several hours after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, in a televised speech, vowed to end the weapons anarchy in the PA.
Masses attend Hamas rally (Photo: AP)
The Hamas leader added that according to his group’s strategy, “This land should not have any Zionists in it,” and said the Palestinian people and his movement would never renounce the right of refugees to return to Palestine.
“If we cannot complete the victory, we’ll hand over the flag of the struggle to our sons, who will complete the journey,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority is planning to hold its own large-scale rally Wednesday, in the former town of Neve Dekalim. Tens of thousands of Palestinians are expected to attend that celebration.