Tens of thousands of Hamas supporters, waving the militant movement's green flags and honking car horns in celebration, marked the 24th anniversary of the founding of Gaza's ruling group, Wednesday.
Hamas commemorated the anniversary under the slogan: "Free people living up to their promises: Oh Jerusalem, we are coming."
Supporters gathered in al-Katiba Square, where a stage was erected, shaped like a vessel carrying a 6-meter tall and 16-meter long replica of the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Hamas' green flags were hoisted along the main roads of the city, where traffic ground to a halt as thousands headed to the festival.
Police deployed around the city to manage the crowds of supporters, which Hamas officials said numbered 350,000.
The armed wing of Hamas, meanwhile, announced figures detailing its resistance against Israel. It has fired 11,093 rockets at Israel and killed 1,365 Israeli soldiers since Hamas was formed in 1987, it says.
In a report marking the anniversary, the Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades said 6,411 Israeli soldiers had been injured in the group's 1,117 military operations and claimed to have arrested 24 Israeli soldiers.1,848 Hamas militants have been killed, the group said.
Addressing the rally, Hamas' government chief Ismail Haniyeh said the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups had "spearheaded the Arab Spring" of political change in the region "either through direct confrontation with tyrannical regimes or through the ballot box."
Hamas had recently announced the establishment of thebranch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Haniyeh also dismissed reports that Hamas had agree to give up the armed resistance with the framework of the Palestinian reconciliation deal with Fatah. "They say Hamas was dropped from the line of resistance, but armed resistance is the way and it is Hamas's strategic choice to liberate Palestine from the (Jordan) river to the (Mediterranean) sea and to remove the invaders from the blessed land of Palestine," Haniyeh told the crowd. "Hamas, together with other stubborn resistance factions, will lead the people towards uprising after uprising until all of Palestine is liberated," Haniyeh said.
And he added: "Hamas was born from the womb of the Palestinian people. The launch 24 years ago was the culmination of a long process of education, preparation and advocacy in the school of the Muslim Brotherhood."
Regarding the Israeli continuous aggression on Gaza,a man in his 20s is in critical condition after being shot by Israeli soldiers east of Gaza City on Wednesday morning, medics said.
Medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said:the man was shot in the thigh while hunting for birds in the Shujaiyeh neighborhood.
An Israeli army spokeswoman said that soldiers identified a "suspicious individual" approaching the security fence.
She said soldiers shot the man in the legs after he failed to respond to orders to leave the area.