TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Palestinian party Fatah celebrates 48th year with rally, hinting it, Hamas hatred waning

AP
Palestinians wave yellow Fatah flags during celebrations marking the 48th anniversary of the Fatah movement in Gaza City, Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. The secular-leaning Fatah party staged a massive rally Friday in the Gaza Strip, the first such gathering in the territory since the Islamist Hamas group violently took control there in 2007 - a reflection of the warming ties between the two rival Palestinian factions.(AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

What is Fatah?

• Founded by Yasser Arafat, Fatah was the cornerstone of the Palestinian national cause.

•Under Arafat's leadership, the party promoted an armed struggle against Israel to establish a Palestinian state. But it later recognized Israel's right to exist, and its leaders have led peace talks aimed at reaching a two-state solution.

•Since Arafat's death in 2004, Fatah fell from dominance and, in 2006, lost parliamentary elections to the Islamist movement Hamas. In June 2007, Fatah was driven out of the Gaza Strip in violent clashes between the two factions.

Source: BBC

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Washington Post
Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, 7:42 p.m.
 

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.”

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Extremist strikes again in attack on gay parade in Jerusalem
  2. Former Omar deputy to lead Afghan Taliban
  3. India hangs man who raised funds in support of 1993’s deadly Mumbai bombings
  4. Turkey aims guns at Kurdish rebels
  5. China says U.S. trying to militarize South China Sea
  6. Turkey to stick with air offensive in ISIS battle
  7. Saudis’ deadly airstrikes resume in Yemen
  8. Gunbattle kills 21 at Afghan wedding party
  9. Scientists warn about killer robots
  10. Afghan intelligence: Taliban leader Mullah Omar dead 2 years
  11. Debris on French island possibly that of missing Malaysia Airlines flight