Fatah Movement in the Gaza Strip marked the 13th anniversary of the death of Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat in a mass rally that gathered hundreds of thousands of people in the Saraya Square in the city center. The movement described the rally as a proof of its popularity and large presence in Gaza, ten years after Hamas took control over the area.
Ahmed Halas, a member of the movement’s central committee and its leader in the Gaza Strip, said those who besieged Arafat were now trying to oppose Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
He stressed that the late president laid the foundations for maintaining the independent Palestinian decision and raising the slogan of non-interference in the affairs of other countries, “a slogan that still stands, and is the title of our cooperation and our relationship with all forces and countries.”
Halas emphasized that the Fatah movement would not relinquish efforts towards reconciliation with Hamas, and that it would go beyond any differences and obstacles that might arise, noting that the movement would not return to divisions and would strive to achieve the settlement.
Saturday’s rally was the first to be held by Fatah movement in the wake of the ongoing talks to achieve Palestinian reconciliation between the movement and Hamas.
Palestinians marched from distant areas to participate in the festival, and raised Palestinian and Fatah flags, along with pictures of Arafat and Abbas. Representatives and leaders of all the factions were present, but a shy representation of Hamas was noted in the event.
The Palestinian president delivered a speech on the occasion, in which he spoke about the memory of the late President Arafat and his role in national unity and revolutionary positions, pledging to follow the path of “Abu Ammar”, whom he described more than once as “his brother”.