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Thousands celebrate Fatah anniversary in Bethlehem

Dec. 31, 2012 5:18 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 3, 2013 9:20 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Fatah's anniversary celebrations began in Bethlehem on Monday, with senior officials addressing crowds in the city's Manger Square.

Thousands of people from Hebron and Bethlehem took part in the celebrations, with Fatah officials Saeb Erekat, Jamal Muheisin, head of intelligence Majed Faraj and other political personalities taking part.

Addressing the crowd, Erekat said despite the US pressure on Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas, the party would press on with its struggle for a liberated Palestine.

Cars and motorbikes were seen carrying Palestinian and Fatah flags in the Gaza Strip on Monday, with PA official Ahmad Olwan saying celebratory events will start later in the evening.

Fatah will hold its 48th anniversary celebrations in al-Saraya square, Gaza City on January 4.

It will be the first time that Hamas has allowed Fatah to hold such events since seizing the coastal enclave from the secular faction in 2007.

Fatah was founded in 1965 by late President Yasser Arafat and has long been the dominant force in Palestinian politics and a cornerstone in the nationalist struggle.
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