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Hamas cancels West Bank celebrations after 20 members arrested
Published Friday 10/01/2014 (updated) 11/01/2014 17:37
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(MaanImages/file)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas said Friday that it would not hold a celebration in the West Bank for its 26th anniversary after the Palestinian Authority arrested a number of its members.

The celebration was originally planned for Saturday.

Hamas Spokesman Husam Badran said in a statement that PA security forces arrested 20 Hamas members within 24 hours, including members of the planning committee for the celebration, students at al-Najah University, and recently freed prisoners.

Bardran said the arrests would not discourage the Hamas movement.

The cancellation of the celebration comes four days after a Fatah official said Hamas would not allow Fatah's 49th anniversary celebration to be held in Gaza.

Meanwhile, both factions have spoken in favor of national Palestinian reconciliation throughout the last three weeks.

Fatah proposed a national unity plan to Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Wednesday, to which Haniyeh responded that he needed time to discuss the plan with other Hamas leaders, a Fatah spokesman told Ma'an.

The head of Fatah's reconciliation team told Ma'an Thursday that he would be visiting Gaza in the coming days to meet with Haniyeh.

The division between the two Palestinian factions began in 2006, when Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections.

In the following year, clashes erupted between Fatah and Hamas, leaving Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of parts of the occupied West Bank.

The groups have made failed attempts at national reconciliation for years, most recently in 2012, when they signed two agreements -- one in Cairo and a subsequent one in Doha -- which have as of yet been entirely unimplemented.
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1 ) ABE / USA
10/01/2014 19:39
What a shame. Reconciliation was going so well!

2 ) Mahmoud / Palestine
10/01/2014 20:33
Again the same excuses. I think what really is happening is that Hamas felt its celebrations will not attract many people and therefore they cancelled. They can never dream of getting a fraction of the 1.2 million that celebrated the launch of the Palestinian revolution in Gaza a year ago. Anyone responsible for breaking the law must be arrested, and my guess is the people arrested, if that really is true, were very likely caught smuggling weapons or money.

3 ) Rabiah / Gaza
11/01/2014 01:11
What a shame, especially after Hamas let Fathah have an unofficial celebration in the Unknown Soldier's Square recently. Fatah know Hamas hold great celebrations, which is probably why they've arrested members of the Hamas planning committee for celebrations. They'll probably be charged with 'intent or incitement to plan a celebration'. Don't be deterred Hamas, keep on doing great things, we are all with you.

4 ) Colin Wright / USA
11/01/2014 04:01
Re Abe #1: 'What a shame. Reconciliation was going so well!' Notice who is pleased to see reconciliation not happen. I can hear the squeals of outrage now if it does.

5 ) Gobbi / UK
11/01/2014 08:57
Parties for released convicted murderers are only good when you have the convicted female murderers released, so they can be there as well. The ever politically correct Palestinian Authority, has not found any need to demand the release of any women murderers. To me this speaks volumes of the fuure of this place called Falestina

6 ) Loretta Liks / Austria
11/01/2014 09:02
Not even a bunch of flowers, for released female murderers, that's due to the fact that the PA did not request their release. What a load of chauvinistic pigs.
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