The Fatah movement reported that its request to be allowed to hold a public ceremony commemorating the late President, Yasser Arafat, was rejected by the Hamas police in Gaza City. Dr. Zakariyya al-Agha, one of the senior political leaders of Fatah in Gaza, stated that Fatah had officially requested the police to allow the commemoration but the request was turned down.

Mohammad al-Aloul, member of the Central Committee of Fatah movement, stated that it is unfortunate that Hamas is preventing the residents of Gaza from holding processions and public events to commemorate the late president.

Lieutenant Ayman al-Batteekhy, head of the media office of the Hamas-controlled police in Gaza, confirmed that the procession was denied and attributed the decision to “security concerns”.

He added that although the Palestinian people, and the Hamas movement, consider the late president one of the greatest national figures, the police cannot allow this procession as “collaborators or provocateurs might use this event to cause conflicts between Hamas and Fatah in Gaza”.

Al-Batteekhy also stated that during a commemoration ceremony that was held two years ago, some persons opened fire leading to clashes between Fatah and the police in Gaza.

The official added that “the current dangerous security situation could lead to tension and clashes”, and that “there is no guarantee from Fatah that what happened previously will not happen again”.