Hamas holds rare West Bank rally
Thousands of Palestinians have attended a rare Hamas rally in the city of Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank celebrating the 25th anniversary of the group's founding and its recent "victory" over Israel in Gaza, Aljazeera reported.
"Our message is that Hamas is here, on the ground and in the heart of our people"
- Hosni al-Burini, Hamas MP
The rally is the first time that the West Bank's ruling Palestinian Authority (PA), which is dominated by Hamas rival Fatah, has allowed such a gathering since 2007.
It comes as the two movements take tentative steps towards restarting a reconciliation process.
"Our message is that Hamas is here, on the ground and in the heart of our people," Hamas MP Hosni al-Burini told the AFP news agency.
Yussef Iqtishaat, a teenager attending the rally with his family, was among those eagerly brandishing the movement's flag.
"It's a great day thanks to the victory in Gaza," he told AFP.
In November, Hamas and other Palestinian factions fought an eight-day conflict with Israel that left 174 Palestinians and six Israelis dead and ended with an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire.