Thousands meet at Gaza stadium for militant's funeral

Tens of thousands of Palestinians, some firing weapons in the air, flocked to a Gaza Strip stadium today to bury the highest-profile militant commander that Israel has killed in four years.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians, some firing weapons in the air, flocked to a Gaza Strip stadium today to bury the highest-profile militant commander that Israel has killed in four years.

Jamal Abu Samhadana, recently tapped as the Hamas government’s top security chief, died late yesterday in an Israeli air strike on a militants’ training camp.

Hamas, sworn to Israel’s destruction, has interpreted the attack as an assault on its government, and has warned Israel that Abu Samhadana’s death would be avenged.

“All options are open for the resistance groups to deliver a message to the enemy…,” said Hamas politician Mushir al-Masri.

It wasn’t clear whether Hamas, which suspended its suicide bombing war against Israel in February 2005, would take action against Israel directly or simply back other factions’ operations, as it has done in the past.

Abu Samhadana, the leader of the small Popular Resistance Committees faction, was revered in Gaza as a key figure in Palestinian rocket attacks against Israel.

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