Daily Israel Report

Hamas Bans Fatah Anniversary Fete in Gaza

Gaza's Hamas terrorist rulers may have agreed to unity with Fatah, but it has banned anniversary celebrations of its rival's founding.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 12/28/2011, 10:06 AM

Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh
Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh
Flash 90

Unity apparently isn't everything when it comes to living in Gaza, a region still ruled under the iron fist of the Hamas terrorist organization.

Just last week, Hamas agreed to join the Palestine Liberation Organization after years of reconciliation talks, agreements, broken deals and then more negotiations. 

The latest decision, which came during two days after a meeting in Cairo between Palestinian Authority Chairman and PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal and Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Shalah. The gathering, which constituted a gathering of the three largest terrorist factions in the Arab world today, began with an agreement on forming a central elections comission for upcoming PA elections. Reportedly Islamic Jihad followed with a similar agreement to join as well.

But as in the past, it may not last long.

Although Hamas recently threw a massive celebration to mark the 24th anniversary of its founding, it has banned any similar festivities in the region to likewise mark the anniversary of the founding of the rival Fatah faction.

Fatah spokesman Fayiz Abu Aitah told the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency Tuesday that Hamas security services in Gaza informed him that "any celebrations to commemorate the movement's founding will be canceled."

The anniversary of the more secular, "nationalist" movemement, which has led the push for a PA unity government with Hamas and the Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations, is usually celebrated on January 1, according to Ma'an.

Fatah, or 'conquest' in Arabic, was founded in 1965 by the late PLO chairman and mastermind terrorist Yasser Arafat and remains the leading faction in the PLO.

It was Fatah that led the drive to press the United Nations for membership as an independent sovereign state without having first completed final status negotiations with Israel, as previously agreed in the Oslo Accords.

The faction has long been a dominant force in PA politics, although it lost control over Gaza in a militia civil war fought with Hamas in 2007, resulting in a complete division of the PA into two entirely separate entities.

Fatah currently rules the remaining PA-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria headquarters from its headquarters, the Muqata, located in its Samarian capital city, Ramallah.