In a sign of its increasing clout and popularity among Palestinians, Hamas held its first West Bank rally in five years in the city of Nablus on Dec. 13.
Hamas said that about 5,000 supporters took to the streets in Nablus. According to sources, the demonstrators chanted “Hamas—you are the guns; we are the bullets,” and, “Hamas, fire more rockets on Tel Aviv,” the Associated Press reported.
Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic terror group that controls Gaza, and Fatah, the Palestinian nationalist group that controls portions of the West Bank, have been at odds with each other since Hamas violently evicted the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority (PA) from Gaza in 2007.
Since then, Palestinian Authority security forces in cooperation with Israel have repeatedly cracked down and jailed Hamas members in the West Bank.
Despite the deep animosity between the Palestinian factions, recent attempts have been made towards reconciliation. With Hamas emboldened by support from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Operation Pillar of Defense as well as the Palestinian UN upgrade championed by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, the two sides appear to be warming to each other.