Hamas leader Mashaal arrives in Gaza for the first time
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH AND JPOST.COM STAFF
Fatah accepts invitation to celebrate 25 years since Hamas's founding, a sign of rapprochement between the rival Palestinian factions; relatives of slain Hamas commander Jabari travels from W. Bank for celebrations.
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal kissed the ground upon arriving in the Gaza Strip for the first time on Friday to attend celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist movement.
The Hamas leader declared the moment of his arrival in the Strip to be his symbolic "third birth," setting foot in the coastal enclave for the first time and returning to the area of Mandate Palestine for the first time since 1967.
Mashaal clarified that his "first birth" was his literal birth, and the second, his survival of an Israeli assassination attempt. His "fourth birth," Mashaal said, would take place "when the whole of Palestine is liberated."
On Thursday, Mashaal’s wife and daughters arrived in the Strip together with 15 Hamas officials.
Relatives of slain Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari also headed from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip via Egypt to attend the celebrations.
Jabari, whom the IAF killed on November 14, was originally from Hebron.
Fatah has accepted Hamas’s invitation to participate in celebrations in the Gaza Strip marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist movement.
The invitation, the first of its kind in more than a decade, is seen as yet another sign of rapprochement between the rivals parties.
Hamas and Fatah have pledged to work hard to end their differences in the aftermath of Operation Pillar of Defense and the UN General Assembly vote in favor of upgrading the Palestinians’ status to nonmember observer state.
Following last month’s IDF air offensive in the Gaza Strip, several Fatah officials, including Nabil Sha’ath, took part in “victory” celebrations organized by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Last month, Hamas banned Fatah supporters in the Gaza Strip from holding rallies on the anniversary of the death of Yasser Arafat.
Fayez Abu Aitah, a spokesman for Fatah, confirmed that his faction would participate in the Hamas celebrations, which will be launched on Saturday.
He said that the Hamas anniversary comes amid a “positive and good atmosphere following the victories of our people.”
Yehya Rabah, a senior Fatah official in the Gaza Strip, also confirmed that his faction would attend the Hamas celebrations.
“There is no reason why we should not participate with our Hamas brothers in the celebrations,” Rabah said. “This is a step forward toward achieving reconciliation.”
It should be 100% clear who won the fighting in Gaza.
Hamas won, Israel lost.
This article gives us all the evidence we need to declare a loss for Israel if we are going to be truthful.
Fact number one, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal entered Gaza today.
Fact number two, Israel allowed relatives of slain Hamas commander Jabari to travel from Hevron to Gaza to be part of this.
The Palestinians have not changed at all, Israel G-D forbid could give them Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem and their would be no peace. Mashaal said it today they want all of Israel.
I was watching the BBC this morning and they had an Arab talking head on that said very clearly until the crime of the creation of Israel has been over turned we will not have peace.
Bibi, that worthless Coward, Scum and Traitor, was PM when Israel faked an attempt on Mashaal so as to have the excuse to release Sheik Yassin from Israeli prison before the terrorist died in our prisons. It turns out when the Sheik got out he returned to terror and we killed him in the end, doesn't matter.
Bibi you got a second chance kill Mashaal before the week end is out.