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Hamas 'refuses Fatah rally' in Gaza City square

Dec. 17, 2012 4:49 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 18, 2012 5:16 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Hamas government in Gaza has refused a request to hold Fatah's 48th anniversary celebrations in Gaza City's al-Katiba Square, a Fatah spokesman said Monday.

Fayez Abu Aita said Fatah "regretted" Hamas' refusal to allow the party to stage a festival in the square, which he said implied that Hamas rejected any Fatah celebrations in the Gaza Strip.

"Al-Katiba square is the only square in Gaza suitable for a big event with a large number of people, and it's the main square for national celebrations," Abu Aita said, noting that Hamas and Islamic Jihad held rallies there.

Abu Aita said the refusal was particularly disappointing given the recent positive atmosphere toward reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.

Hamas held anniversary rallies in cities across the West Bank last week for the first time since 2007.
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