Fatah anniversary celebrated in Gaza

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 Fatah anniversary celebrated in Gaza

According to the Associated Press, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs celebrated the 58th anniversary of Fatah's founding in a park in Gaza City on Saturday. and leaders of Fatah, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his predecessor, Yasser Arafat.

It was a rare manifestation of Fatah's popularity in central Gaza, which is controlled by Fatah's main rival, Hamas.

Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since 2007, when Hamas took control of Gaza by force in a bloody coup. Hamas allowed Fatah to hold Saturday's rally, although in the past, since seizing power in 2007, Hamas has blocked or restricted Fatah's activities.

Fatah and Hamas remain sworn enemies, and repeated attempts by the Arabs to reconcile them have failed.< br />
The unity government between Hamas and Fatah collapsed in 2015 when Abbas decided to dissolve it amid a deepening rift between the parties.

Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement in October 2017, under which Hamas was supposed to hand over power in Gaza by December 1 of that year.

This deadline was initially pushed back by 10 days, but later reportedly ran into “obstacles” and was never implemented.

PA elections were scheduled for last year, but Abbas officially announced they would be postponed. Although he cited Israel's refusal to allow Arabs in east Jerusalem to vote as reason for the delay, many believe that the real reason is Abbas's fear that he will lose the election to Hamas.

In early December, a senior Hamas official announced that a new round of sectarian reconciliation dialogue would be held in Algeria later this month.< br />

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