Hamas stops rally for national unity in Gaza

Hamas stops rally for national unity in Gaza
Hamas authorities prevented a gathering marking nine years of political division in Palestine, while a parallel event was held in Ramallah.
2 min read
16 June, 2016
An event calling for national unity was held in Ramallah [The New Arab]
Hamas security services denied permission for a march to be held in Gaza to mark nine years of political division between Hamas and Fatah, and to demand national unity.  

Since elections in 2007, Hamas has held power in the Gaza Strip, while Fatah dominates the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. 

Despite numerous initiatives and talks over the years, the two movements remain bitter rivals, a situation that many feel is damaging for the Palestinian cause.  

According to an organiser of the march, Yasser al-Wadia, request for the event was handed into a police station in Gaza City as Hamas authorities require.  

However when the march began, security services prevented the attendees from reaching the square of the Unknown Soldier and confiscated phones.  

Meanwhile, in the West Bank, several Palestinian figures and clerics reiterated the need for reconciliation between the rival parties of Fatah and Hamas and to end the division with the implementation of the Cairo agreement between the two factions signed in 2011.  

In the gathering held in Ramallah, dozens of Palestinians called for an end to the division.  

According to the event coordinator Khalil Assaf, the event aimed to send a message to Palestinian officials that it was necessary to achieve national unity and to end the division that destroyed Palestinian "only to benefit the Israeli occupation."  

Assaf also expressed disappointment that the parallel event was prevented in Gaza.  

Multiple Palestinian factions have recently traveled to Cairo to meet with Egyptian security figures, purportedly to discuss prospects for national unity.