Wednesday, May 23
Latest News
  1. 22 Gazans transffered to Jordan for medical treatment
  2. Palestinian and Israeli settler fields set ablaze in Hebron district
  3. Israeli forces detain 5 Palestinians in overnight West Bank raids
  4. Israeli airstrikes target Gaza seaport and alleged Hamas tunnel site
  5. 2 Gazans charged with flying incendiary kites to Israel
  6. Palestine asks ICC to investigate Israeli settlement activity
  7. Israel issues 54 administrative detention orders since May 1
  8. Groups claim Israeli medical neglect in death of Palestinian prisoner
  9. Shots fired at Israeli vehicle near Ramallah
  10. President Abbas hospitalized for lung infection

Jubilation in Gaza as Hamas hails Mubarak ouster

Feb. 11, 2011 10:13 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 12, 2011 3:14 A.M.)
By Mai Yaghi

GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Hamas on Friday hailed the fall of Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak as "the start of the victory of the Egyptian revolution" as jubilation erupted across Gaza.

"We consider the resignation of president Mubarak to be the start of the victory of the Egyptian revolution which we support with all its demands," said the Palestinian Islamist movement's spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri.

The toppling of Egypt's strongman represented "the victory of the will of the Egyptian people and their sacrifices," he told AFP, calling on the Egyptian army to support "the demands of the people and not let them be led astray."

As the news rippled across the densely-populated coastal enclave ruled by Hamas, thousands of people rushed into the streets to celebrate, with cars honking their horns and celebratory busts of gunfire punctuating the night.

In Gaza City, gunmen from Hamas's armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, began gathering in the centre for a celebration rally.

Similar gatherings were reported across the Gaza Strip as people responded to calls over loudspeakers to come and "join the celebrations with the Egyptian people."

"Egypt has written a new page in the nation's history," Gaza's Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniya said, adding that the blockade of Gaza had "begun to weaken" with the collapse of Mubarak's regime.

Abu Zuhri urged Egypt's new leaders to lift its blockade, a measure in force since 2007 after Hamas violently seized power in the enclave, ousting the secular Fatah movement of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Israel has enforced a blockade of Gaza from the land, air and sea since 2006 after Palestinian militants snatched an Israeli soldier on its border with the strip who is still being held captive.

Abu Zuhri urged Cairo to "immediately" open the Rafah terminal between Gaza and Egypt which has been closed since the end of January, leaving thousands of Palestinians trapped in Gaza, and keeping hundreds more from returning home.

The militant Islamic Jihad movement also "paid tribute to the Egyptian people and their revolution," saying what they had achieved was "the dream of all Arabs and Muslims."

Earlier on Friday, online calls for a demonstration across Gaza for "change" appeared to have had little effect. Hamas security forces quickly dispersed those who did turn up in the southern town of Khan Yunis.

The protest was called by an Arabic-language Facebook group which said its aim was to encourage unity among the bitterly-divided Palestinian ranks.

The fall of Mubarak drew no immediate comment from the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA), which has largely kept silence since the Egyptian uprising erupted on January 25.

But hundreds of Palestinians of all ages in the PA's political capital of Ramallah and other West Bank communities took to the streets to celebrate, waving Egyptian and Palestinian flags.

Last month after the anti-regime protests broke out, Abbas called Mubarak, whose regime tried but failed to mediate a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation but was seen as pro-Abbas by the Islamists, to express his "solidarity with Egypt."
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2018