Fatah: Hamas bans Abbas support festival in Gaza
Published Sunday 16/03/2014 (updated) 17/03/2014 09:52
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Gaza Ministry of Interior has banned a Fatah festival in support of President Mahmoud Abbas, a Fatah official said Sunday.
Fatah Central Committee Member Amal Hamad said that Hamas' decision to ban the festival -- which was to take place in Gaza City's Square of the Unknown Soldier --- was damaging to the Palestinian cause.
Hamad said the ban weakened negotiations, which she said were a form of resistance.
"It is time for Hamas to side with the Palestinian people ... who defend their rights and hold on to their national principles," she said.
A spokeswoman for the Hamas movement did not answer calls seeking comment.
The division between Fatah and Hamas began in 2006, when Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections.
In the following year, clashes erupted between the two Palestinian factions, 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.