Hamas calls on factions to respect truce



AGENCIES

Published — Friday 23 November 2012

Last update 24 November 2012 10:29 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

GAZA CITY: Gaza’s streets, empty and quiet during a week of violence, were once again flooded with cars and people yesterday as life returned to normal after a truce deal between Hamas and Israel.
“Move it, people! Go, go, go!” one frustrated Hamas policeman shouted in a futile attempt to diffuse a traffic jam, as a coffee vendor threaded his way between the cars.
The clogged streets would have been unthinkable 24 hours earlier, as Israeli missiles fell and Palestinian rockets were launched skyward.
His voice was barely audible over the sounds of honking cars and a nearby celebration organized by Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Participants waved the yellow flags of the Brigades and red flags of the PFLP as residents watched from nearby buildings. The mood was palpably joyful, with strangers greeting each other with handshakes and smiles.
Outside the Parliament building, thousands gathered for a celebration organized by Hamas, many waving the movement’s trademark green flag.
Although it was led by Hamas, the gathering had an unusually non-partisan feel for Gaza, where the movement has often cracked down on displays of support for other Palestinian organizations, including arch-rival Fatah.
Parents carried children with the words “Hamas” in green and “Fatah” in yellow painted onto their cheeks, and some waved the flags of both movements.
Sixty-year-old Yusef Jdeidah was smiling as he watched the scene.
The Hamas prime minister of the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh, called on all Palestinian factions to respect a truce deal reached with Israel.
“I salute the resistance factions who have respected the agreement since it entered into force and I ask everyone to respect it and act accordingly,” Haniyeh said in a Gaza City speech.
The top cleric from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has denounced peace efforts with Israel, urging holy war to liberate Palestinian territories.
Yesterday’s call by Mohammed Badei came just a day after Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi, succeeded in brokering the truce.
Badei says “jihad is obligatory” for Muslims and that peace deals with Israel are a “game of grand deception.” He says there’s been enough negotiations, the “enemy knows nothing but language of force.”
The Brotherhood and its members don’t recognize Israel and refuse to hold direct talks with Israelis.
After days and nights cooped up at home, residents were eager to reclaim their hometowns and their lives.
Many stopped by newspaper vendors to pick up a daily or ate breakfast at one of the falafel stands dotting the city. People were also visiting multiple sites bombed by Israel, taking pictures of the damage with their mobile phones.
Shop owners began to reopen, some for the first time since the violence began on Nov. 14, and electrical workers and glaziers were out in force, repairing the damage caused by the bombing.
Some swept the pavements in front of their shops, as locals queued in front of cash machines, withdrawing money now that places were open for business again.
Not far from the demonstration, 23-year-old Majdi Kheil was manning a stall selling nuts and seeds, nodding approvingly as a hit song called “Hit, Hit Tel Aviv” belted out of the speakers.
“I finally feel comfortable and safe, this is the first time I’ve worked since the war started,” he said.
“I’m really glad the groups seem to be working together and think the truce was detailed, so I hope it will last.”
Hamas declared yesterday a public holiday — “a national holiday of victory.”
It called on Palestinians “to celebrate this occasion and visit the families of the martyrs and the wounded and those affected by the violence, and to affirm national solidarity.”
Gaza’s children, virtually absent from the streets since the violence began, will begin to return to school from tomorrow.
But in the meantime they too were taking advantage of the festive atmosphere, successfully entreating their parents to buy them new clothes, a toy, or some ice cream.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

Arab News Editor in Chief Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi hosted a banquet for editors in chief of local print and online publications, Shoura Council members, representative of the Ministry of Culture and Information, prominent writers and columnists in Je...
JEDDAH: Health workers from Riyadh’s National Guard hospital would not be allowed to perform Haj this year, or work at the holy sites, the Ministry of Health has announced.Hail Al-Abdali, head of the ministry’s infection control unit, was reportedly...
JEDDAH: The Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs Abdul Lateef Al-Asheikh has introduced new legislative amendments to allow voters to produce a range of identity documents so that they can register for the upcoming elections.Al-Asheikh amended Art...
RIYADH: Construction on the multibillion-riyal Riyadh Metro is well under way with several giant drilling machines working overtime to ensure that underground tunnels for the project are completed on schedule.The Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA)...
JEDDAH: Officials from the Saudi Ministry of Haj have been holding meetings with their counterparts from Arab and South Asian nations in preparation for this year’s pilgrimage.Abdulrahman bin Ali Al-Nafei, assistant deputy minister of Haj and in char...
RIYADH: Four polling stations in Tabuk have stopped registering voters for the Dec. 12 municipal elections in the region.Ibrahim bin Ahmed Al-Ghabban, undersecretary at the Tabuk municipality and member of the local committee for the election of a mu...
JEDDAH: Many prospective candidates running for seats on the country’s municipal councils have been using Twitter to boost their election campaigns.Many have been using religious expressions in their messages, such as “In the name of God,” and “If He...
DAMMAM: There has been a flurry of activity on the Kingdom’s highways as service companies race to meet the Jan. 19 deadline for the revamp of dilapidated gas stations.The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has previously handed out rehabilitati...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and Germany have signed an agreement on mutual protection of classified information to provide a legal framework for enhanced cooperation in the defense sector. The pact was signed by Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Aish, assistant mini...
JEDDAH: While Saudi Arabia has now arrested the main suspect in the 1996 bombing of the Alkhobar Towers residence at an American military base in the country, the hunt continues for three others, according to reports in the local media on Thursday.Ah...
AL-AHSA: Located in the western part of Al-Qara Mountain is a workshop for the pottery industry, molding clay in plastic forms that are given permanency by the use of intense heat. This art form became one of the major attractions in Al-Ahsa Archaeol...
RIYADH: A newborn baby boy, who appeared to be just hours old, was found lying in the grass, covered with a blanket, in an abandoned field in Jazan on Tuesday morning.According to local residents, a family passing by heard the baby crying and rushed...
TAIF: Several schools in Taif have recorded a lack of schoolbooks for primary and intermediate classes for the first time in 15 years, a local publication reported.This has resulted in many boys and girls not turning up for classes. A source said tha...
RIYADH: Justice Minister Walid Al-Samaani said that directives from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman to protect the rights of citizens and public properties are being strictly implemented.“All legal measures are being taken to hold accou...
RIYADH: Najran region has retained its veritable unique cultural heritage and attractions, which include old mud buildings constructed some 300 years ago.While the laid-back ambience in many areas is gone due to modern life brought about by contempor...

Stay Connected

Facebook