Hamas sympathizers on Thursday marked the 21st anniversary of the elimination of Yahya Ayash, the movement’s first explosives expert, who was responsible for the killing of more than 100 Israelis.
Hussam Badran, Hamas’ spokesperson, issued a special statement saying that “the students of Yahya Ayyash, the first engineer, are the hope of the Palestinian people’s dream to rid themselves of the Israeli occupation and find dignity. Thanks to his student, Ayash will continue to be the nightmare that haunts the Zionists. More than having invented suicide bombings that have disorientated the enemy, he laid the foundation to a new generation of engineers that took on his mission to create a balance of terror with the enemy.”
He said that his students followed in his footsteps towards “heroic” bombings.
“On behalf of Hamas, I call on the mujahideen in Gaza to follow in the engineer’s footsteps and continue his legacy,” he said. “Let’s turn this anniversary into an opportunity to renew the people’s commitment to resistance as a means to return our stolen lands and rights.”
Some hashtags commemorating the events were trending in Arabic on Twitter.
Iyad Abu Fanon, a Hamas official who was released from Israeli jail in a prisoner exchange deal in 2011, wrote: “The martyr Yahya Ayash, a name that terrorized and will continue to terrorize the occupier. A new Ayash is being nurtured before the eyes of the Jews. Be like Ayash.”
— إياد أبو فنون (@IyadFanon) January 5, 2017
“The man who induced terror in the Zionist entity, his name continues to terrorize them,” the user who goes by the name of Che Guevara tweeted.
— جيفارا ✌ (@cheguevaraa_7) January 5, 2017
Esraa Omar wrote: “Before long a new Ayash will turn up. The stories of the heroes don’t die, they create thousands of new ones. Ayash is coming.”
— Esraa A. jaber (@esraa1993j) January 5, 2017
“Yahya Ayash is the name of an era, not a person,” journalist Iyad Alqarra wrote. “It’s a symbol for a generation that was born under him and continues to lead the resistance. Doubtless, he invented the modern Palestinian struggle.”