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Middle East

Hamas, Jihad chiefs in first public appearance since July 8

A masked militant flashes the victory sign surrounded by Palestinians celebrate the cease-fire in Gaza City, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Several senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders appeared in public on Tuesday shortly after a Gaza truce took hold, the first time they had done so since the conflict began on July 8.

Among them was Mahmud al-Zahar, a senior member of the Hamas political wing, and senior Jihad official Mohammed al-Hindi who gave a rousing victory speech to thousands of people gathered in a square in Gaza City's Rimal neighbourhood.

"We're going to build our port and our airport, and if they attack the port, they attack the port. But anyone who attacks the airport will have their airport attacked again," Zahar said.

He was referring to a two-day suspension of flights into Tel Aviv by major US and European airlines in mid-July after a rocket from Gaza struck near the runway, in a move hailed as a victory by Hamas.

 

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