A day after canceling anniversary celebrations in Gaza, Fatah officials said the movement would be allowed to celebrate in the Hamas-controlled Strip after all.
Atef Abu Yousef, a Fatah official in Gaza, said Hamas Gaza head Ismail Haniyeh gave Fatah official Nabil Shaath the go ahead to hold a rally in Gaza’s al-Saraya square, The Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported Friday.
The move came hours after Fatah said it canceled celebrations because Hamas officials rejected proposed sites for the celebrations, including al-Saraya square. Hamas had said security considerations precluded it from allowing the rally.
The scheduled gathering, for the movement’s 48th anniversary, was seen as a key outgrowth of reconciliation efforts between Fatah and Hamas, which have stepped up since Operation Pillar of Defense last month.
Earlier this month, Hamas held rallies for its 25th anniversary in the West Bank. The hard-line Islamist terror movement has seen growing support on the Palestinian street since facing off against Israel during the eight-day mini war.
Gaza has been ruled by Hamas since 2007, when the terror group staged a violent takeover of the coastal enclave. Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah president of the Palestinian Authority, which enjoys international backing, maintains control of the West Bank.
Some 5,000 Fatah supporters in Gaza are expected to celebrate the movement’s 1965 founding, Ma’an reported. Shaath is expected to hold a press conference soon to announce the date of the celebration.
Adiv Sterman contributed to this report.