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Fatah to join Hamas anniversary celebrations in Gaza

Dec. 6, 2012 9:35 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 8, 2012 1:44 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Fatah will join celebrations for Hamas' 25th anniversary in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, a senior Fatah leader said Thursday.

Yahya Rabah told Ma'an that Hamas officially invited Fatah to participate in the festival, and said Fatah leaders would celebrate "with our brothers in Hamas."

Fatah is waiting for President Mahmoud Abbas to call a meeting of all factions to finalize reconciliation, Rabah said. Real reconciliation is represented by national unity, not by resolutions between governments, he added.

Israel's eight-day war on Gaza revitalized Palestinian unity efforts, which had stalled since factions signed a reconciliation treaty in Cairo in May 2011.

Since the Nov. 21 ceasefire, Fatah and Hamas have taken steps to release those detained due to the division. Fatah members who fled Gaza during factional fighting in 2007 have started returning to the enclave.

Fatah leader Abbas congratulated Hamas on what he called a victory against Israel, and Hamas expressed support for Abbas' UN bid.

Meanwhile, Fatah rallies have been held in Gaza and Hamas has rallied in the West Bank.
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