Hamas and Fatah announced over the weekend that they have reached an agreement
that would allow the latter to hold a rally in Gaza City marking the 48th
anniversary of its founding on Thursday.
The agreement was reached one
day after Fatah announced that it had canceled the event because of Hamas’s
refusal to allow it to take place in two major squares in Gaza
Hamas justified its opposition by citing security reasons. Hamas
officials said that they had received information that disgruntled Fatah
activists opposed to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were planning
to disrupt the rally.
Hamas suggested that Fatah celebrate the event at
the Yarmouk Stadium or at the site of former Jewish settlements. Fatah, however,
rejected the offer and held Hamas responsible for the cancelation of the
On Friday, the two parties announced that they had reached
an deal in which the Fatah rally would be held at one of the two locations –
The agreement was reached during a phone conversation
between Fatah official Nabil Sha’ath and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail
Yehya Rabah, a senior Fatah official in the Gaza Strip, said
that his faction was planning to invite Haniyeh and other Hamas leaders to
attend the rally. Islamic Jihad representatives have also been invited to attend
the event, he said.
This would be the first Fatah rally since Hamas
seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007.
Earlier this month, the
Palestinian Authority allowed Hamas to hold rallies in the West Bank marking the
25th anniversary of the establishment of the Islamist terrorist group.