Fatah agrees to celebrate Hamas anniversary in Gaza

(JTA) — Fatah reportedly has agreed to participate in Hamas’ 25th anniversary celebrations in the Gaza Strip, a sign of rapprochement between the rival Palestinian factions.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the festivities will take place on Saturday.

“There is no reason why we should not participate with our Hamas brothers in the celebrations,” Yehya Rabah, a senior Fatah official in the Gaza Strip is quoted as saying. “This is a step forward toward achieving reconciliation.”

The paper’s Palestinian affairs correspondent, Khaled Abu Toameh, also quoted Fatah spokesman Fayez Abu Aitah as confirming Fatah’s position.

Hamas’ anniversary, Abu Aitah said, comes amid a “positive and good atmosphere following the victories of our people.”

Khaled Maeshal, a Hamas leader, was due to arrive in the Gaza Strip for the first time in his life on Friday to attend the celebrations. Meshal’s wife and daughters arrived in the strip together with 15 Hamas officials on Dec. 6. 

Al Hayat, the Arab-language London-based daily, reported Mechal may end up cancelling his visit due to “security problems.”

Hamas and Fatah are in on-again, off-again unity talks.

Hamas boycotted the Palestinian municipal elections in October. 

Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, staged a violent coup d’état in Gaza in 2007. 

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