Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh waves to people as they celebrate 3.
Fatah has accepted Hamas’s invitation to participate in celebrations in the Gaza
Strip marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist
The invitation, the first of its kind in more than a decade, is
seen as yet another sign of rapprochement between the rivals
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal is expected to arrive in the Gaza
Strip for the first time on Friday to attend the celebrations.
Thursday, Mashaal’s wife and daughters arrived in the Strip together with 15
Relatives of slain Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari
also headed from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip via Egypt to attend the
Jabari, whom the IAF killed on November 14, was originally
Hamas and Fatah have pledged to work hard to end their
differences in the aftermath of Operation Pillar of Defense and the UN General
Assembly vote in favor of upgrading the Palestinians’ status to nonmember
Following last month’s IDF air offensive in the Gaza
Strip, several Fatah officials, including Nabil Sha’ath, took part in “victory”
celebrations organized by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Last month, Hamas
banned Fatah supporters in the Gaza Strip from holding rallies on the
anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat.
Fayez Abu Aitah, a spokesman
for Fatah, confirmed that his faction would participate in the Hamas
celebrations, which will be launched on Saturday.
He said that the Hamas
anniversary comes amid a “positive and good atmosphere following the victories
of our people.”
Yehya Rabah, a senior Fatah official in the Gaza Strip,
also confirmed that his faction would attend the Hamas
“There is no reason why we should not participate with our
Hamas brothers in the celebrations,” Rabah said. “This is a step forward toward
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