Hundreds of people in the impoverished and Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip have staged a demonstration against the Israeli regime and to protest the participation of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres.
The protesters in Gaza City burnt pictures of US President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Peres, who died aged 93 earlier this week after spending almost a fortnight in a medically induced coma following a major stroke.
They also sprayed Israel’s flag on the street with the Arabic sentence, “Death to Israel.”
The demonstrators stressed that Abbas should not have attended the funeral of Peres in Jerusalem al-Quds earlier in the day.
“We are against the participation of Palestine’s delegation in the funeral of Peres, because Peres was a killer of Gaza’s children and he made a lot of wars and massacres against our children and our people in the Gaza Strip,” said a protester, identified as Abu Moumen.
Abbas and Netanyahu shook hands and exchanged brief words during Peres’ funeral.
The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas had earlier called on Abbas not to attend the funeral, saying such a step would push other Arab parties to move towards normalization of ties with the Tel Aviv regime, and would torpedo attempts to foster unity among Palestinian factions.
“We condemn Abbas’s condolences for Shimon Peres and consider that it disregards the blood of the martyrs and the suffering of the Palestinian people,” Hamas stated.
The Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv pronounced Peres dead at 0000 GMT on Wednesday.
Peres had also served as the Israeli regime’s minister for military affairs, foreign minister and prime minister.
During his tenure as president from 2007 to 2014, the impoverished Gaza Strip witnessed two full-scale wars that claimed the lives of more than 3,700 Palestinians in total.
While he was in office as prime minister in 1996, the Israeli military shelled a United Nations compound near the southern Lebanese village of Qana, killing 106 people and injuring around 116 others, who were sheltering at the site.
As the director general of the ministry of military affairs in the 1950s, Peres also oversaw the development of Israel’s nuclear weapons program with assistance from France.
Israel keeps an estimated stockpile of some 200-400 nuclear warheads.