Thousands of Hamas supporters in Nablus celebrated the 25th anniversary of the
Islamist movement’s founding on Thursday.
The celebration, which the
Palestinian Authority had authorized, was the first event of its kind in the
West Bank since Hamas’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
PA’s Palestine TV carried a live broadcast of the event.
The rally was
yet another sign of improved relations between Fatah and Hamas in the aftermath
of Operation Pillar of Defense and the UN General Assembly vote in favor of
upgrading the Palestinians’ status to non-member observer – events that both
Hamas and Fatah see as a victory over Israel.
Thursday’s rally took place
under the banner, “Stone Shale – The Way for Liberation.”
is the name Hamas uses to describe Operation Pillar of Defense.
and Fatah officials participated in the Hamas rally, including the Nablus
governor and Amin Makboul, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary
Addressing the crowd, Makboul called for ending the Fatah-Hamas
dispute and achieving Palestinian unity.
He said that PA President
Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal were scheduled to hold a “historic
meeting” in Cairo soon to discuss ways of achieving reconciliation between the
He also hailed the “two Palestinian victories” in the Gaza
Strip and the UN General Assembly.