Fatah supporters wave flags at the 48th anniversary celebration. Photo: Screenshot.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas paid tribute to World
War II era Hitler-supporting Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini as well as
several known terror leaders responsible for the deaths of Israelis at a
rally in Gaza City Friday that marked the 48th anniversary of the
political party Fatah.
During the televised speech, made to a
crowd of hundreds of thousands, Abbas made mention of, among
others, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, Sheik Ahmed Yassin–both former
leaders of Hamas assassinated by Israel for their role in terrorizing
the Jewish state-and Marwan Bargouti, who is currently serving time in
an Israeli prison for his role in the deaths of five Israelis.
was Fatah’s first such rally in the territory since a 2007 coup by
Hamas ousted the party from power. In his speech Abbas addressed the
division, saying that reunification was near. “Soon we will regain our
unity,” he said of the two sides, which have drawn closer since the end
of the eight-day November conflict, Operation Pillar of Defense, that
pitted Israel against Hamas.
“The success of the rally is a
success for Fatah, and for Hamas too,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu
Zuhri. “The positive atmosphere is a step on the way to regain national
Abbas, who is not allowed to enter Gaza, but who was
given permission by Hamas to stage the rally and address the crowd, said
he would soon return to Gaza and that unification with Hamas would
be “a step on the way to ending the (Israeli) occupation.”
number of Fatah activists and officials did make the trip to Gaza for
the rally, including Jibril Rajoub,
who formerly headed the Palestinian security forces
in the West Bank, Fatah cofounder Abdul Aziz Shaheen and Fadwa
Barghouti, the wife of jailed activist Marwan Barghouti.
West Bank Thursday, Abbas signed a presidential decree changing the
name of the Palestinian Authority to the “State of Palestine,”
following the Palestinians’ upgraded status at the United Nations to a
non-member observer state.
According to the decree, reported by
the official Palestinian news agency Wafa, all stamps, signs, and
official letterhead will be changed to bear the new name.