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Israeli airstrike hits home in Gaza's al-Nasr neighborhood
Fatah, Hamas meet in Gaza ahead of party anniversary
Published Wednesday 02/01/2013 (updated) 03/01/2013 21:39
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Palestinians hold torches as they celebrate the 48th anniversary of the
founding of Fatah movement in Gaza City Dec. 31, 2012.
(Reuters/Mohammed Salem)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh on Wednesday convened Hamas and Fatah delegations ahead of the first Fatah rally in the Gaza Strip since the parties' bitter division.

Fatah will hold its 48th anniversary celebrations in al-Saraya square, Gaza City on Friday.

It will be the first time that Hamas has allowed Fatah to hold such events since seizing the coastal enclave from the secular faction in 2007. Fatah also permitted a Hamas anniversary rally in the West Bank earlier this month for the first time in six years.

Haniyeh welcomed a Fatah delegation, including senior official Nabil Shaath, ahead of the event to discuss security arrangements.

"This festival and the general environment will prepare for reconciliation and end the split. We gave directions to security services to make the festival successful," Haniyeh told the meeting.

The Fatah and Hamas delegations were briefed by Haniyeh's security chief on the arrangements to secure the festival, as well as preparatory celebrations held this week in Gaza.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told reporters that his party "are interested in ensuring the success of this festival to secure the completion of this great national occasion."

Shaath stressed no security incident could undermine the conciliatory atmosphere of the festival.

"We have tried negotiations sponsored by Egypt and reached many agreements, but this time it was inspired by the spirit of the masses," Shaath said, referring to popular pressure over the repeated failure of reconciliation talks between the parties.
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1 ) Tibi / Tubas
02/01/2013 21:09
"The spirit of the masses" can NOT convince:
- Fatah to surrender to Hamas demands for unity, or
- Hamas to surrender to Fatah demands for unity, any faster than
Either to surrender to Israeli demands for real Palestinian statehood,
so Palestine will remain just a 9-Letter word on UNGA stattionary.

2 ) Bemused / New Zealand
03/01/2013 01:40
and Israel will remain a four-letter word on the lips of the world!

3 ) Mel / USA
03/01/2013 10:10
The only demands Israel insists on is that the Jewish State of Israel is acknowledged.

4 ) Tom / Usa
03/01/2013 15:17
And all Palestinian. People want is there freedom, independent state and to end the occupation.

5 ) @3 / .ps
03/01/2013 15:22
yeh mel.the m.b. call the shots now..
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