‘A Roaring Flood’: Hamas Marks 36th Anniversary of Its Founding

Palestinians take part in Hamas’ anniversary rally in Gaza in Dec 2022. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

On December 14 of each year, the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas marks the anniversary of its founding. 

The anniversary is usually celebrated with activities and military parades across the streets of Gaza, featuring the Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the movement. 

Hamas was founded on December 14, 1987, as part of the First Palestinian Intifada. The popular uprising led to the killing and wounding of thousands of Palestinians, mostly children by Israeli occupation forces.

The Intifada ended around the signing of the Oslo Accords in September 1993.

Hamas, along with other Palestinian Islamic and socialist groups argued that Oslo has squandered the achievements of the Palestinian people as it only served to entrench the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Indeed, since then illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank tripled, and more Palestinians were killed on average than in previous years.

With time, Hamas grew more popular, at the expense of Fatah, the PLO’s leading faction. In a general election in January 2006, Hamas won majority of seats at the Palestinian Legislative Council, leading to its isolation from the United States and its western allies, along with Israel and other Arab countries.

It was then that the siege on Gaza begun, culminating to several Israeli wars on the Strip, starting with the major war of 2008-9 and ending with the ongoing war, starting on October 7.

Hamas was founded by a quadriplegic Palestinian man, Shiekh Ahmed Yassin, who worked as an Arabic teacher at an elementary school in Gaza, before teaching at a high school, also in Gaza City.

Yassin was assassinated by Israel in March 2004.

‘Al-Aqsa Flood’

On December 14, 2022, on the 35th anniversary of the movement, Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, gave a speech in which he threatened Israel with an impending “flood”.

“We will come to you in a roaring flood,” Sinwar said in a televised speech in front of a crowd in Gaza, adding: 

“We will come to you with endless rockets, we will come to you in an unceasing flood of fighters, we will come to you with millions of our people, like an incessant tide.”

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At the time of the speech, nobody could foresee the military Al-Aqsa Flood military operation, carried out by Hamas on October 7 in southern Israel. 

In response, the Israeli army launched a brutal aggression on the Strip, which entered its 69th day and has already led to the killing of over 18,000 Palestinians and the wounding of over 50,000 more. 

‘Legendary Steadfastness’

On Wednesday, December 13, Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, gave a speech on the 68th day of the war. 

Below is Haniyeh’s full speech.

(The Palestine Chronicle did not edit the translation provided by the Resistance News Network using its channel on Telegram.)

“Our fighting people and their valiant resistance continue to present a bright image in jihad, struggle, and legendary steadfastness in their long journey to repel the occupation from our land and sanctities.

“Since its inception on December 14, 1987, which marks its 36th anniversary tomorrow, the Hamas movement has utilized all its capabilities and resources to achieve the national goals of our people for freedom, independence, return, and self-determination.

“The battle of Aqsa Flood on October 7 dealt a resounding blow to the occupation, shaking its military, political, economic, and security leadership, and its social structure.

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“The heroism and bravery of the Al-Qassam Brigades and resistance factions continue to be evident in confronting Zionist aggression and inflicting heavy losses on it in both the northern and southern Gaza Strip, with the latest heroic scenes in Shuja’iyya, Jabaliya, and others, as well as joint operations between the Al-Qassam Brigades and their brothers in Saraya Al-Quds.

“This legendary steadfastness has created significant repercussions, putting the enemy’s alliances at stake.

“We have recently observed notable international and Western positions, which will have their effects in the near and distant future.

“Every life lost, whether of a boy or girl, man or woman, young or old, every tear shed by a mother, father, or child, is precious. Every home or dream destroyed by Zionist attacks, and all suffering from hunger, thirst, lack of money, lives, and crops, will remain etched in our memory, never to be forgotten or forgiven. The enemy will pay the price for all of it, no matter how long it takes.

“I kiss the head of every individual from our people, especially the families of the martyrs and our noble wounded. We will remain loyal to our people, including the orphans, widows, and families of the righteous martyrs.

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“We in the leadership of the movement are working with everyone, including international entities, to make intensive efforts to relieve our people and alleviate their suffering.

“The occupation is not satisfied with its war on our people in Gaza but intensifies its crimes and assassinations in the West Bank and Al-Quds, practices the most heinous forms of racism against our people in the ’48 lands, and targets our people in the diaspora, confirming that our people, wherever they are, have always been and continue to be the target of the enemy’s occupation and aggression.

“We call on the nations of our Arab and Islamic nations to expand their actions in proportion to the scale of this aggression and these sacrifices, so that history does not record that a nation of more than 1.5 billion people did not do everything in its power to save a dear part of its children who rose up in jihad to liberate their land and defend the sanctities and dignity of the nation.

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“We stand with respect and appreciation for the international popular movement in support of Palestine and its people in various cities and capitals around the world, at the level of the masses, intellectual, political, and media elites, and all those who support the battle in their own way from outside Palestine.

“I praise the member states of the seven-member committee formed by the Arab and Islamic summit, led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for their political and diplomatic efforts to stop the aggression and support our people.

“We express our appreciation for the positions of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, especially his message to the Security Council about the situation in the Palestinian territories, considering it a threat to international peace and security.

“We welcome the resolution issued by the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, which calls for a ceasefire by an overwhelming majority.

“We are certain that the brutal aggression will end, and the resistance will remain a faithful guardian of the rights and legitimate aspirations of our people.

“We affirm that we are open to discussing any ideas or initiatives that could lead to stopping the aggression and pave the way for organizing the Palestinian home at the level of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, leading to the political path that secures the right of the Palestinian people to their independent state with Al-Quds as its capital.

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“Any bets on arrangements in Gaza without Hamas and the resistance factions are illusions and mirages, illusions and mirages, illusions and mirages.

“I call on Arab and Islamic countries to take a firm stance to support our people in their battle and to use all options and cards to stop this aggression.

“I affirm that we are steadfast, our resistance is capable, our people are patient and firmly struggling, and we are confident that the occupation will disappear, God willing.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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