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Fatah official: Friday's festival in Gaza to aid unity

Jan. 3, 2013 12:27 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 4, 2013 10:39 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath said Thursday that his party's 48th anniversary celebrations in the Gaza Strip would have a positive impact on national unity.

The festival will take place in Gaza City's al-Saraya square after prayers on Friday, the first party rally since Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007.

Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas has recorded a speech to be played at the festival, and representatives from each of the factions will also address the rally, Shaath told Ma'an.

Delegations from Egypt and Algeria will participate, and 32 artists will perform at the ceremony, he said.

The festival will be under the banner: "The modern Palestinian revolution," as agreed by all factions, Shaath added.

The rally, and Hamas' anniversary event in the West Bank last month, will help along dialogue efforts between the parties, he said, while warning that "reconciliation is more than celebrations or meetings."

"We do not want to negotiate again; there is an agreement that should be implemented," he said, referring to deals in 2011 and 2012 to form a unity cabinet, ending the split between the West Bank and Gaza governments.

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