Hamas marks 1 year after war, but many stay homeMaybe Gazans are just sick and tired about having to keep silent about how they really feel about Hamas?
Hamas loyalists marked the one-year anniversary of Israel’s devastating war against Gaza’s Islamic militant rulers with defiant protests and a moment of silence on Sunday — even as most of the territory’s residents ignored commemoration events and some even criticized the militant group for not attending to their needs.
The sparse turnout appeared to be an informal vote of discontent by Gaza residents over Hamas’ attempt to turn the day into a victory march for the militant group.
Around 3,000 Hamas supporters milled around a square in the northern Gaza town of Jebaliya, waving their group’s green flags and holding up pictures of family members slain in the Israeli offensive that began on Dec. 27, 2008. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed [this claim debunked here], including hundreds of civilians, along with 13 Israelis.
"We are the victors! We are the fighters! We are the steadfast!" thundered senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Haya.
But a year later, al-Haya’s bold calls rang hollow. After days of heavy advertising through Hamas Web sites, text messages and radio announcements, only a trickle of Hamas loyalists turned up to a commemoration in the heavily damaged legislative building in downtown Gaza City, the territory’s largest urban area.
Cars whizzed by and pedestrians kept walking, ignoring a siren meant to call for a minute’s silence.
Or that it doesn't much matter what they do:
Under the slogan "victory and steadfastness," Gaza's ruling Hamas movement organized a series of activities Sunday, including rallies and ceremonies, to mark one year since Israel's three-week military offensive against militants in the salient. The commemorations kicked off with a one-minute siren, which wailed across the Gaza Strip while people froze in silent attention, and mosques in the enclave, controlled by Hamas, broadcast verses from the Koran.Hamas continues to play with the lives of Gazans.
...In Gaza City, hundreds of children aged between 6 and 12 years old marched through the main street of the city and headed towards the square of the Unknown Soldier in the city centre.
Technorati Tag: Gaza and Hamas and Operation Cast Lead.