Chants and flags on streets, jets in sky Martin Chulov in GazaJuly 01, 2006
WAVING billowing green flags and with fists thrust skywards, Hamas's dedicated thousands took to the darkened streets of Gaza late on Thursday to show the world they remained defiant.
As an unmanned Israeli drone buzzed high overheard and attack helicopters and fighter jets rumbled through the distance, about 5000 people chanted in support of their jailed West Bank politicians and their Gaza leaders in hiding.As the crowd made its way home through rubbish-strewn streets,[those littering Zionists again! - EoZ] past mosques and half-finished buildings, explosions sounded across the city. Hundreds surged towards the sound of the largest -- an air strike on the Interior Ministry that sent smoke billowing and masonry tumbling to the road.
These are testing times for the hundreds of thousands who elected Hamas in January, And more so for the many more who care not about the colour of the flag above the legislature.
All around is evidence of hardship: cars annihilated on bomb-lined roads, rotting fruit and vegetables swept into allies and rubbish piled high along main routes.
But defiance is a lifeblood. There is little hatred for the captured Israeli soldier, but little sympathy for him either.
"Perhaps he can see what it's like to live at the mercy of others and go back to his people and tell them," said Hanin al-Masri as she carried home her two five-year-old children, who she dressed with Hamas caps.
Sitting in the sand outside his home as a dog-eared Hamas flag flew from the balcony, Abu Hanifeh said: "We may have nothing left and I have two sons in Gaza and another one who has been martyred. But that's what makes resistance worthwhile.
"We have nothing to lose and everything to gain," he concluded.
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