Hamas shows strength at anniversary rally in Nablus

In first event of its kind in West Bank sanctioned by Palestinian Authority, thousands gather in Nablus to celebrate Hamas.

PALESTINIAN WOMEN pose at Hamas rally 370 (photo credit: Muammar Awad/Reuters)
PALESTINIAN WOMEN pose at Hamas rally 370
(photo credit: Muammar Awad/Reuters)
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.
The 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.”
“Stone Shale” is the name Hamas uses to describe Operation Pillar of Defense.
Senior PA and Fatah officials participated in the Hamas rally, including the Nablus governor and Amin Makboul, a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council.
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 two sides.
He also hailed the “two Palestinian victories” in the Gaza Strip and the UN General Assembly.