Gazans celebrate the 27th anniversary of Hamas' founding.
(photo credit: REUTERS,REBECCA FRIEDMAN)
Hamas held a military rally in Gaza on Sunday in which convoys paraded signs of the organization's military prowess through the streets of the coastal territory.
The military parade, which featured long-range missiles mounted on trucks and Kassam Brigade fighters and naval commandos brandishing weapons, marked 27 years since the founding of Hamas.
President Reuven Rivlin told the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) last week that Israel is willing to cooperate in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Gaza, but there is concern that the building materials intended for construction will be appropriated by Hamas and used to launch further assaults against Israeli towns and cities in the South.
Israel cares a lot about the population of Gaza, Rivlin told UNOPS executive director Grete Faremo last week, adding that it was in the interests of Israel for Gaza to be rehabilitated.
“We know the population of Gaza suffered and we know that innocent people are being held hostage by Hamas,” he said.
While acknowledging the importance of improving the quality of life of the Gazan population, which he believes will lead to greater understanding between them and their Israeli neighbors, Rivlin made it clear that a way has to be found to distance Hamas from the rest of Gaza.
The president related some of Israel’s history with Hamas, and reiterated Israel’s fears that construction materials cannot be allowed to become instruments for attack in the hands of Hamas.
Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this report.