Hamas: Gaza is free of the Israeli 'occupation'

Hamas official says intifada freed Gaza of Israeli occupation in 2005, calls for escalation of tensions.

Dalit Halevi, Chana Roberts ,

Arab rioters
Arab rioters
Abed Rahim Khatib, פלאש 90

A senior Hamas official claimed that Gaza freed itself of the "Israeli occupation" in 2005.

Speaking on Friday at one of the violent Gaza border riots, Ahmad Bahar said the Al-Aqsa Intifada (also known as the Second Intifada - ed.) which began in September 2000 brought about the "redemption of Gaza and the removal of the Israeli occupation."

He added that the Oslo Accords strengthened the Jewish settlement in and the Judaization of Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem.

Last week, another Hamas official, Khalil al-Hayya, said that the violent Gaza riots would continue until Israel ceased its "occupation" of Gaza.

Promising that the "Palestinian struggle" would continue and that he would protect the PA Arabs' rights and beliefs, Bahar called to escalate the intifada, and to develop additional ways of removing the "occupation." He also praised the illegal Bedouin settlers of Khan al-Ahmar.

Khan al-Ahmar, built illegally on land belonging to a Jewish town, is slated for demolition. Its residents have been asked to evacuate by October 1. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has called for all PA Arabs to arrive en masse and oppose the demolition.