Tens of thousands of Hamas supporters, waving the militant movement's green flags and honking car horns in celebration, marked the 24th anniversary of the founding of Gaza's ruling group, Wednesday.
The annual rally turned into an increasingly elaborate show of strength since Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007, following internal fighting with forces loyal to Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
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The crowd faced a huge stage in the shape of a ship, meant to symbolize Hamas' dream of retaking all of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.
Hamas - celebrating 24 years of terror (Photo: Reuters)
A Hamas statement said Wednesday that "the resistance will continue, in every way, until the movement is able to free Palestine and see the refugees return."
Gaza's rulers criticized Fatah – without mentioning it by name: "The gamble on the negotiations with Israel has failed. It is important that the Palestinian leadership, which pursued the negotiations, reconsider its political way."
Hamas did, however, stress that "the movement in committed to implement the Palestinian reconciliation deal."
Hamas' Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades boasted killing 1,365 Israelis since it was founded, as well as injuring over 6,411 Israelis in various terror attacks.
According to the group's military wing, over 11,000 rockets were fired at Israel and it has so far executed 1,117 terror attacks.
The number of fatalities among Hamas terror operatives stands at 1,848.
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