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Hamas requests permission to hold anniversary celebration in Nablus

Dec. 8, 2013 2:58 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 9, 2013 3:46 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Chief of the Coalition of Nonpartisan Palestinian Dignitaries in the West Bank Khalil Assaf said on Sunday that the Hamas movement had officially asked him to obtain permits from the Palestinian Authority in order to organize a major commemoration of the 26th anniversary of Hamas' founding in Nablus on December 14.

Assaf told a Ma'an reporter in Nablus that he had yet to speak to any official in the Palestinian Authority about what he referred to as "Hamas' strange request."

Instead, Assaf asked the Hamas official who made the request for an explanation as to the motive behind celebrating Hamas' anniversary in Nablus instead of Gaza City, where the movement currently holds control.

Assaf highlighted that Hamas had earlier said that there would be no anniversary celebrations in Gaza because of the dire economic conditions there, referring to a Nov. 29 statement by a Hamas official in charge of mass activities, Ashraf Zayed, canceling the main celebrations and restricting the commemoration to local events.

"There are enough political disputes in the Palestinian territory and what we need is national unity and steps on the ground to end rivalry between Palestinian factions which has become dangerous as it enters its seventh year," he added.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by the State of Israel since 2006.

The blockade was imposed following the victory of Hamas in the 2006 Palestinian elections and the subsequent 2007 clashes between Fatah and Hamas, which left Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of the West Bank.
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