The Hamas terror group urged Palestinians to hold a “Day of Rage” on Friday, coinciding with the state funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres, which will be held in Jerusalem on that day.
The call is meant to mark the one-year anniversary of the beginning of a wave of terror attacks, including stabbings and car-rammings throughout the West Bank and in Jerusalem, that launched in September 2015.
Hamas’s call follows a Wednesday statement by the group’s spokesman in Gaza that expressed happiness at Peres’s death.
A spokesman for the group, Sami Abu Zuhri, told AP on Wednesday that “the Palestinian people are very happy at the passing of this criminal who caused their blood to shed.”
He added, “Shimon Peres was the last remaining Israeli official who founded the occupation, and his death is the end of a phase in the history of this occupation and the beginning of a new phase of weakness.”
Hamas is sworn to the destruction of Israel. In 2007, it routed forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and took over the Gaza Strip.
Later Wednesday, Abbas, however, expressed sadness over Peres’s death.
In a statement, Abbas said he has sent a condolence letter to Peres’s family expressing “sorrow and sympathy.”
He called Peres a partner in reaching a “peace of the brave” with the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. The three men shared the 1994 Nobel Peace prize for reaching the Oslo interim peace accord.
Abbas said Peres “exerted persistent efforts to reach a just peace from the Oslo agreement until the final moments of his life.”