Hamas supporters gather for 25th anniversary

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Thousands of Palestinians are gathering in Gaza to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Hamas militant group.

Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal is expected to speak at Saturday's rally in Gaza City. Mashaal entered the seaside strip a day earlier after a long exile from Palestinian territory.

Thousands of Hamas supporters, some of them flashing victory signs, were braving the rain to attend the event. Some parents brought children dressed in military uniforms.

The anniversary comes two weeks after the bloodiest round of Israel-Gaza fighting in four years.

Hamas has portrayed itself as the victor of the eight-day conflict because Israel agreed to an Egyptian-brokered truce instead of sending in ground troops, as it initially threatened.

©2016 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.