Scores of Palestinians, representing civil society organizations in Gaza, staged on Wednesday a demonstration at a public square, urging the rival Hamas and Fatah parties to unite.
Participants who marched through streets of Gaza city, stopped at the aL-Jundi aL-Majhoul public square in Gaza city, where organizers of the demo delivered speeches to the crowd.
The rally comes after both Fatah and Hamas agreed early this week in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a to a Yemeni-sponsored reconciliation initiative that honors dialogue between the two sides.
Several civil society organizations as well as local community leaders and chiefs of clans in the coastal region, were represented in the rally.
Samir Zaqout, of the Gaza Mental Health Program, spoke of the need for a real unity among the Palestinian people in order for the Palestinians can rebuild the civil society, which has been weary of Hamas-Fatah power struggle.
Asked by IMEMC whether there will be more demonstrations if the dialogue fails, Zaqout maintained ‘ in case such a newly-born initiative, we wont only stage demonstrations, we will rather uncover the party responsible for such a failure if happens’.
Although representatives of Fatah and Hamas confirmed in Yemen on Sunday , signing the Yemeni-brokered deal, the two parties had different interpretations of the pact.
Media reports said today that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had accepted the deal, signed in Yemen, after spokesperson of Abbas had earlier announced thatâ€™s such an agreement is invalid until Hamas renounces control of Gaza.
Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Fawzi Barhoum, told IMEMC’s correspondent in a phone interview this week that the Yemeni initiative was clear enough to the best of restarting dialogue with Fatah and returning the situation in Gaza and the West Bank back prior to June’s incidents.
In June of last year, the Islamist Hamas party wrestled control over the coastal Strip, amidst a power struggle with the secular Fatah party of Abbas. Abbas had then formed a caretaker government in Ramaallah, outlawed Hamas and demanded that the party gives up control over Gaza, before any dialogue could begin.
The Yemeni initiative is the second since both sides have engaged in an internecine infighting, as of February2007, Hamas and Fatah formed the first unity government, mediated by the Saudi Arabia.
Palestinian media estimates suggest that at least 450 Palestinians have been killed during armed clashes between Hamas and Fatah, which broke out following Abbas’ call for early elections in December2006, meant to end an internationally-enforced economic embargo on the Palestinian Authority.
Hamas has been sidelined by western governments, U.S and Israel since the party took power after January2006’s elections, due to Hamas’s opposition to holding peace talks with Israel until Israel halts actions against the Palestinian people.