Skip to main content

Low turnout at Hamas rally sign of declining support?

A lower-than-expected turnout at the anniversary of the assassination of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin has added to speculation about its declining popularity.
Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of the Hamas Gaza government, talks to his supporters during a Hamas rally marking the anniversary of the death of its leaders killed by Israel, in Gaza City March 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST ANNIVERSARY) - RTR3I85L

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — In warm weather on the sandy ground of the Serail Square in central Gaza City, tens of thousands of Hamas supporters came out to participate in the “loyalty and steadfastness” festival held on March 23 to commemorate the anniversary of the martyrdom of Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.

While some believe that the number of participants was not as high as expected, the speech delivered by Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, in his capacity as a leader of Hamas’ political bureau, went beyond the usual, according to analysts.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.