Hamas Holds Military Parade, Top Leader Appears Again

Hamas group holds military parade in Gaza Strip as top leader makes another public appearance.

Hundreds of Hamas organization fighters wore masks and brandished guns in a military parade in Gaza City on Saturday (May 22), the Associated Press reported. They passed by a memorial shed for Bassem Issa, a senior Hamas commander killed in the current battle, where Hamas supreme leader Yehiyeh Sinwar made another appearance.

Israel bombed the homes of Sinwar and other top Hamas leaders in the current battle. Israel’s defense minister says Israel has hit Hamas hard and will continue to track down top Hamas figures.

Saturday was the first day after the current cease-fire. Gaza City’s busiest business district was littered with debris, smashed cars and twisted metal exposed by the collapse of high-rise buildings as municipal workers cleaned up.

Local people generally expect the cease-fire to hold for now, but believe deeper issues remain unresolved.

The U.N. Security Council issued a statement Saturday welcoming the cease-fire and stressing “the immediate need for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population, particularly in the Gaza Strip.”

Thousands rallied in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, calling for Jewish and Arab coexistence.

U.S. Secretary of State John Blinken plans to hold talks with Palestinian National Authority President Abbas and Israeli leaders when he visits the region next week.