Tens Of Thousands Mourn Hamas Leader

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Hamas officials headed to Cairo for ceasefire negotiations yesterday after tens of thousands of Palestinians, many of them Hamas supporters, attended a mass funeral procession in Gaza for Interior Minister Sa’id Siyam.

He was assassinated in an Israeli airstrike on Thursday.

The funeral was also in honour of Siyam’s son Muhammad, his brother Iyad, his sister-in-law and her son, all of whom were killed in the same airstrike.

Ten Palestinians were killed in the airstrike, including Siyam and five of his family members.

The strike left a massive crater where their house had stood.

Earlier, Israeli tanks withdrew from the Tel Al-Hawa neighbourhood of Gaza City after 24 hours of constant shelling, leaving behind the corpses of Palestinian civilians and fighters.

Mu’awiya Hassanein, the director of Ambulance and Emergency Services in the Ministry of Health, reported from Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City that at least 23 people had been killed in the Tel Al-Hawa invasion.

He said the overall death toll has reached 1,173. Another 5,150 have been injured.

• Students yesterday continued to occupy the London School of Economics (LSE) in protest at the Israeli invasion of Gaza, and to demand assistance for Palestinian students and no investment in Israel’s war machine.

‘The LSE should release a statement condemning the Israeli attack on Gaza and demanding a ceasefire. . . A statement condemning Israeli violence is fully in keeping with the founding principles of our university,’ said a leaflet outlining students’ demands.

There were shouts of ‘Free, free Palestine!’ at a lunchtime rally in support of the action, which was addressed by Lindsey German from the Stop The War Coalition.

Third-year student Seth Brown, anti-racism officer of the LSE students union, told News Line that the occupation started on Thursday at 3.00pm ‘when we went into the Old Theatre during the first lecture of the afternoon’.