Palestinian party Fatah celebrates 48th year with rally, hinting it, Hamas hatred waning
JERUSALEM — The Fatah party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas held a rally in Gaza on Friday to mark the 48th anniversary of its founding — the first such gathering permitted by Hamas since it seized control of the territory in a brief civil war in 2007.
“We feel like birds freed from our cage today,” said Fadwa Taleb, 46, who worked as a police officer for Fatah before the Hamas takeover and attended the rally with her family. “We are happy and feel powerful again.”
The rally was another sign of thawing relations between the factions since November, when Israel began a military offensive to halt rocket fire from Gaza and Abbas won limited recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations.
Hamas has enjoyed a surge of popularity among Palestinians because it was able to fire rockets deep into Israel during the recent conflict. Fatah has been buoyed by the U.N.'s statehood vote, spurring renewed moves to carry out a stalled reconciliation accord signed by the factions in 2011.
Hamas granted permission for the Fatah rally in Gaza because it was allowed to hold two rallies last month in the West Bank, parts of which are controlled by the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority. Since their split, each faction had banned public gatherings by its rival.
On Friday, tens of thousands of people, many waving yellow Fatah banners, gathered in Saraya Square in Gaza City in what witnesses described as a carnival atmosphere. Crowds had camped overnight to ensure themselves a spot, and the throng included many families with children.
The jostling crowd surged onto a stage, where Fatah leaders were assembled. The ensuing chaos forced organizers to cut the gathering short after Abbas gave a video address from his headquarters in Ramallah.
Abbas told the crowd that “soon we will regain our unity,” which he called “a step on the way to ending the (Israeli) occupation.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Turkey shoots down Russian jet it says violated its airspace
- Liberia has 1st Ebola death since being deemed free of disease in September
- Vatican puts 5 on trial for leaks
- ISIS claims hotel attack in Egypt
- Official: Paris attacks organizer was planning more carnage
- Tunisia put under state of emergency
- Philippines reappraises hoard of Marcos jewelry
- Settlement spat surfaces as Kerry visits Jerusalem
- Mali hotel attack aimed at peace talks, say separatists
- American accent on ISIS recording presents alarming prospect
- Presidential runoff to test Argentina’s appetite for insular economy