Thousands of Palestinians wearing the green scarves of Hamas rallied in the Gaza Strip to mark the 25th anniversary of the Islamic group’s founding with calls for military action as the only way to achieve statehood.
Khaled Mashaal told the Palestinian Hamas movement’s ruling council that he does not plan to run again for its leadership, according to a statement from the body, which asked him to reconsider his decision.
The head of Hamas said Israel must end its blockade of the Gaza Strip if a cease-fire is to be agreed upon, as Israeli ground forces honed preparations to enter the territory for the first time in almost four years.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s anti-Israeli rhetoric fuels his popularity in the Arab world as he seeks to become a leader in the region. He’s increasingly antagonizing the West as he takes on that role.
When Israel launched air strikes on the Gaza Strip last week, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood said the “Zionist entity” had committed a “criminal aggression.” President Mohamed Mursi, drawn from the same movement, said only that it was unacceptable “under any circumstance.”