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Saturday, January 5, 2013
Fatah festival in Gaza reflects new phase of unity

Fatah festival in Gaza reflects 'new phase of unity'
Published yesterday (updated) 05/01/2013 20:05
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=553610

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas' involvement in facilitating Fatah's 48th
anniversary celebrations in Gaza reflects a new period of unity between the
Palestinian factions, Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh said Saturday.

"We are committed to such a great responsibility and will continue in
preparation for the meetings of officials to complete national
reconciliation on the basis of solid and unbreakable ties, as they were in
previous times," Haniyeh said in a statement.

The Gaza premier sent greetings to members of Gaza's ministry of interior
and security forces who had helped organize and monitor the festival.

Meanwhile, Fatah's spokesman in Gaza, Fayez Abu Aita, thanked the leadership
in the West Bank and all members of the central committee and revolutionary
council who participated in the celebrations.

"We promise our people that Fatah will continue to carry the flag of the
revolution to achieve the Palestinian people's goals, hopes and ambitions to
regain unity, return and self determination in an independent state with
Jerusalem as its capital," he said.

Fatah officials estimated that hundreds of thousands of people attended the
anniversary celebrations in Gaza City on Friday, with Hamas allowing the
events to take place for the first time since it seized power in 2007.

Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal said Saturday that the Gaza government's
involvement in the festival demonstrated a "great national position," with
both Fatah and Hamas officials reiterating their commitment to
reconciliation.

An Egyptian official told Reuters that Cairo was preparing to invite the
factions for new negotiations within two weeks, with the country having
already played a crucial role in bringing both sides together in 2011.

The Egyptian-brokered reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas has
repeatedly stalled, but Israel's eight-day war on the Gaza Strip, which
ended on Nov. 21, gave political impetus to ending the division.

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