At student rally, Hamas calls for more suicide bombings

jerusalem | As the Palestinian Central Election Committee was holding a press conference in Ramallah this week to announce the final results of the election for the chairmanship of the Palestinian Authority, hundreds of students attended a rally organized by Hamas at Bir Zeit University, where they called for more suicide attacks against Israel.

In fact, one attack took place killing a Gaza settler on Jan. 12, three days after the election of Mahmoud Abbas as Yasser Arafat’s successor.

“Oh suicide bomber, wrap yourself with an explosive belt and fill the scene with blood,” chanted a chorus of five male students at the rally, held by the Hamas-affiliated Islamic List to mark the ninth anniversary of the killing of Hamas bomb-maker Yehya Ayyash, better known as “The Engineer.”

Green Hamas flags and large portraits of slain Hamas leaders Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi decorated the campus where some 500 activists gathered to honor the former student responsible for a string of suicide bombings that killed at least 100 Israelis in the mid-’90s.

Organizers said the timing of the rally was not linked to the election. Speakers refrained from making any reference to Abbas, pointing out the event, approved by the university, had been planned long before the vote.

The students also paid tribute to anther colleague, Izzadin al-Masri, who carried out the suicide attack in Jerusalem’s Sbarro restaurant in 2002, killing 16 people and wounding more than 100.

The Hamas rally was seen as a show of strength in the wake of Abbas’ victory.

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