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Fatah festival in Gaza reflects 'new phase of unity'
Published Saturday 05/01/2013 (updated) 09/01/2013 19:55
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Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh (MaanImages/Wissam Nassar, File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas' involvement in facilitating Fatah's 48th anniversary celebrations in Gaza reflects a new period of unity between the Palestinian factions, Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh said Saturday.

"We are committed to such a great responsibility and will continue in preparation for the meetings of officials to complete national reconciliation on the basis of solid and unbreakable ties, as they were in previous times," Haniyeh said in a statement.

The Gaza premier sent greetings to members of Gaza's ministry of interior and security forces who had helped organize and monitor the festival.

Meanwhile, Fatah's spokesman in Gaza, Fayez Abu Aita, thanked the leadership in the West Bank and all members of the central committee and revolutionary council who participated in the celebrations.

"We promise our people that Fatah will continue to carry the flag of the revolution to achieve the Palestinian people's goals, hopes and ambitions to regain unity, return and self determination in an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital," he said.

Fatah officials estimated that hundreds of thousands of people attended the anniversary celebrations in Gaza City on Friday, with Hamas allowing the events to take place for the first time since it seized power in 2007.

Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal said Saturday that the Gaza government's involvement in the festival demonstrated a "great national position," with both Fatah and Hamas officials reiterating their commitment to reconciliation.

An Egyptian official told Reuters that Cairo was preparing to invite the factions for new negotiations within two weeks, with the country having already played a crucial role in bringing both sides together in 2011.

The Egyptian-brokered reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas has repeatedly stalled, but Israel's eight-day war on the Gaza Strip, which ended on Nov. 21, gave political impetus to ending the division.
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1 ) Mel / USA
05/01/2013 17:47
Nice to see them putting on a brave face since the US and Israel unsheathed their first claws for Iran – in Gaza.

2 ) Filipe / Portugal
06/01/2013 02:42
So where was Abbass ??

3 ) What about those refugees / you care so much about?
06/01/2013 20:57
Instead of throwing parties, these people should be making arrangements to receive their Palestinian brethren from war torn Syria. All this crap about right of return, but when they beg for a place to run to does Hamas or the PA open their arms? No way!

4 ) Gaza Girl / Gaza Palestine
07/01/2013 04:14
To commenter #3: Maybe you haven't been following the news but Abbas has spoekn to Ban ki Moon about taking in refugees. The final decision is in the hand sof Israle however since they control the borders. Check out the article in Ma'an mid December for more information b4 you start commenting on what you are obviously not informed on.

5 ) Refugees only have propaganda / value to Hamas/PA
07/01/2013 20:15
#4) You have swallowed the PA/Hamas bull. They don't want those refugees because they lose their propaganda value. Israeli borders are absolutely no problem. The UN could ship them into Gaza via Egypt, or the West Bank via Jordan. You are right about Abbas speaking to Ban Ki Moon though. When Ban suggested he allow the Pal/Syrian refugees in, Abbas refused, telling him they must go to Israel. It must be getting increasingly difficult for Abbas to con the world about who the real bastards are !
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