This decision raised the spirit of the Palestinians, as previous rumours that Hamas would refuse to host the event increased tensions between the two parties.
The Palestinian Authority welcomed Hamas to celebrate their own anniversary in the West Bank for the first time in many years; this sent a clear provocative message to Israel as the PA entirely disregarded the most important security agreement with the Jewish state.
Supporters of Fatah in Gaza will certainly appreciate this decision: the last time they were allowed to gather in the Strip was in 2007, on the occasion of a tribute in the memory of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Sadly, clashes erupted and led to the deaths of nine people.
This act of reconciliation could pave the way for future cooperation between the two factions. We hope that Hamas and Fatah will start implementing the conditions of their recent agreement in Cairo. We hope that both factions will also put in place their security agreement in order to reshuffle the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, which according to the agreement would become a democratic party.
The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has urged the UN Security Council to hold an urgent meeting to address Israeli military action on Palestine. This move surprised Hamas and angered the Israelis.
On the other hand, Hamas supported Abbas in his step to gain international recognition at the United Nations, despite threats from Israel.
Now, the Palestinians have no choice but to support national unity as Israel exerts more financial pressure on the PA.
Allowing Fatah to celebrate in Gaza heralds a new peaceful era with Hamas which will hopefully endure: Israel considers that all Palestinians – regardless of their political stance – are a threat to their state.
We hope that Hamas will participate in the Fatah celebrations. Such a step would send a strong message to Israel: Palestinians people are unified and support the resistance against the occupation.