The Islamic militant group Hamas staged on Thursday its first public demonstration in the West Bank since 2007, illustrating its improving ties with the rival Fatah movement after a five-year rift.

The show of force by Hamas reflected the group's popularity in Palestinian society following an eight-day battle against Israel last month and its rising influence as Islamists rise to power across the region.

Hamas said about 5,000 supporters of the Islamic militant group took to the streets in Nablus after prayers Thursday.