Fatah reinstates plans for Gaza anniversary event

Anniversary plans back on after Hamas relents and gives approval for use of Gaza City square for Fatah celebration.

Rally marking Fatah's 47th anniversary in Nablus 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Rally marking Fatah's 47th anniversary in Nablus 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
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 City.
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 celebration.
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 – Saraya Square.
The agreement was reached during a phone conversation between Fatah official Nabil Sha’ath and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.
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.