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Hamas to hold rally in West Bank

JTA

December 10, 2012 | 10:47 am

Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal during his visit to the Islamic University in Gaza City on Dec. 9. Photo by Suhaib Salem/Reuters

Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal during his visit to the Islamic University in Gaza City on Dec. 9. Photo by Suhaib Salem/Reuters

The Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority reportedly has allowed Hamas to hold a rally in the West Bank.

Israel’s Army Radio reported Monday that the apparent conciliatory gesture is the first of its kind since Hamas’ 2007 coup d’etat in Gaza that ended the Palestinian Authority’s control on that region.

The Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported that the festival, scheduled to take place on Thursday, will celebrate Hamas’ 25th anniversary and include speeches from Hamas leaders. Hamas had earlier approved plans for Fatah to celebrate its own anniversary in Gaza.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that he planned to head to Cairo soon to resume reconciliation talks with Hamas.

The most recent sign of reconciliation between the factions follows Fatah's participation in the Gaza version of Hamas' 25th anniversary celebration on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Israel Defense Forces officers warned that Hamas was attempting to reactivate its sleeper cells in the West Bank, according to a report in The Jerusalem Post.

In Gaza, Hamas is continuing to convert its terrorist cells into an organized military entity, Maj. Guy Aviad, an expert on Hamas and head of the instruction department at the IDF General Staff’s History Department, is quoted as telling the Post.

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