Shadi Abu Obeid (L), a member of the Palestinian Fatah movement, is greeted by a relative in Gaza City after his release from a Hamas prison on October 1, 2017..
(photo credit: MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)
In a public square in Gaza City on Thursday, thousands of Gazans participated in a social reconciliation ceremony, advancing understandings between Fatah dissident Mohammad Dahlan and Hamas.
In July, Dahlan and Hamas officials agreed in Cairo to take action to promote social reconciliation between families whose members were killed in fighting between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza in 2007 that ended in the political division of the Palestinian territories.
Dahlan and the Hamas officials decided to set up a United Arab Emirates-backed fund to make payments of approximately $50,000 to families that lost their sons in the internecine Palestinian conflict in 2007, in return for publicly renouncing the demand to avenge their deaths.
On Thursday, representatives of 100 families stood on a stage before receiving their payments.
“Today we embody the meaning of unity and national reconciliation through reparations,” Fatah lawmaker Majed Abu Shamala, who is close to Dahlan, said in a speech.
Some 140 families have received payments so far, which some analysts describe as “blood money.”
A Hamas official, who spoke to The Jerusalem Post on the condition of anonymity, said that there are plans to compensate hundreds of additional families in the coming weeks and months.
“We are moving forward with this program to overcome the tragic events of 2007,” the official said in phone call. “We believe it will help to mend the rift in our society.”Reuters contributed to this story.