Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)
Thousands of Hamas fighters staged a military parade on Friday in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, a week after a ceasefire with Israel took effect in the devastated coastal enclave.
Holding arms, masked members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas – the Islamist group that rules Gaza – marched through the southern city, AFP journalists said.
Aboard vans, fighters presented a military arsenal including rocket launchers and a drone as groups of people, including women and children, cheered them on.
An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire that went into effect last Friday has so far ended 11 days of devastating Israeli shelling in Gaza and rocket fire at Israel from the Coastal Strip that began on May 10. .
Israeli strikes on Gaza killed 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, and injured more than 1,900 people, according to the Gaza health ministry.
Rockets and other fire from Gaza killed 12 in Israel, including an Arab-Israeli child and teenager, an Israeli soldier, an Indian and two Thai nationals, according to doctors. Some 357 people in Israel were injured.
# photo1 There is controversy over how many of those killed in Gaza were fighters and how many were civilians.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel’s bombing campaign killed “more than 200 terrorists” in Gaza, which Hamas has controlled since 2007.
But both sides claimed victory after the ceasefire came into effect.
Hamas held several rallies after the ceasefire in the devastated Gaza Strip, including on a Thursday in Khan Yunis and also in the southern part of the Israeli blockade.
© 2021 AFP