Tens of thousands of Gaza Palestinians marked the 13th anniversary of the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s death for the first time since the Islamic Hamas group seized the territory a decade ago. In the wake of a brewing reconciliation between Hamas and the Fatah party Arafat founded, Fatah supporters flocked to al-Saraya Square in Gaza City from all over the coastal enclave to commemorate the event, waving their yellow flag, raising posters of Arafat and donning his trademark kaffiyeh headgear.
Rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have signed a reconciliation deal – the biggest step forward for internal Palestinian relations in a decade. The signing of a preliminary agreement in Cairo was reached after two days of Egyptian-brokered negotiations. Fatah negotiator Azzam al-Ahmed and Hamas’s representative Saleh al-Arouri smiled and shook hands in a short ceremony presided over by Egypt’s chief of intelligence, Khalid Fawzi. The move should ensure a unity government will once again administer both the West Bank and Gaza after the rift caused by militant group Hamas’s takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007.