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Palestinians celebrate unity between Hamas, Fatah

Palestinians celebrate new Fatah-Hamas

Source : Iinanews / 15 Dec 2012

Hamas supporters in the West Bank cities of Hebron and Ramallah gathered yesterday for rallies to celebrate the group's 25th anniversary of its founding.

Hundreds of Palestinians took to streets in both West Bank cities, waving the green flags of the Islamist Hamas group. The rare gathering of Hamas supporters, the first rallies allowed by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank for five years, showed the growing confidence of the Gaza-based resistance group. “We are here today to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Islamic movement, Hamas. We are here to assure that the resistance is the only way for independence,” said one supporter from Hebron.

Hamas forces seized control of Gaza in 2007 and ousted those loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a year after it swept parliamentary elections ending decades of Fatah dominance. The open rift split the Palestinian national movement politically and geographically, between Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza.

The two groups are hoping to boost ties on the heels of an eight-day war with Israel last month, which cheered Hamas, and a Fatah-led initiative at the United Nations General Assembly, that recognized a de facto Palestinian state. "Our message is that Hamas is here, on the ground and in the heart of our people," Hamas MP Hosni A-Burini told the AFP news agency. Yussef Iqtishaat, a teenager attending the Nablus rally with his family, was among those eagerly brandishing the movement's flag. "It's a great day thanks to the victory in Gaza," he said. Among those speaking at the rally was Amin Maqbul, the secretary-general of Fatah's revolutionary council, who saluted the rival movement. "Hamas has given thousands of martyrs, prisoners and wounded for Palestine," he said, adding that Fatah head and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would soon hold reconciliation talks with Hamas's chief-in-exile.

"There will soon be a meeting in Cairo between Abu Mazen (Abbas) and Khaled Meshaal to complete the reconciliation and this will be a historic day," he assured the audience. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh after Friday prayers in Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh congratulated the Hamas activists in the West Bank for holding a peaceful rally. “I congratulate our brothers (in the West Bank) in the Islamic movement Hamas for the anniversary of the movement and the mass gathering that happened Thursday in Nablus and Friday in Hebron and will happen tomorrow in Ramallah, these massive Palestinian gatherings assure that the national atmosphere inside is moving forward,” said Haniyeh after Friday prayers in Gaza.


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