Hamas cancels anniversary rally over economic woes

AP News
Posted: Dec 01, 2013 3:28 AM

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — An official says Gaza's ruling Hamas has canceled its upcoming anniversary rally because of the territory's economic woes. The Islamic militant group had used the elaborate annual commemoration of its December 1987 founding to demonstrate its control over Gaza.

The cancellation indicates that Egypt's border restrictions, including the destruction of smuggling tunnels, are increasingly hurting Hamas.

Egypt's military clamped down after a July coup against a president who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is an offshoot.

The border crackdown, accompanied by Israeli restrictions on Gaza, has caused power cuts, fuel shortages and the virtual collapse of the construction industry.

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Hamas official Ashraf Abu Zayed said Sunday that the movement canceled the Dec. 7 rally and would spend the money on projects to "alleviate the suffering."