Hundreds of Palestinians celebrate unity deal

May 4th, 2011 - 8:34 pm ICT by BNO News  

RAMALLAH (BNO NEWS) — Hundreds of Palestinians on Wednesday took to the streets to celebrate the unity deal signed by Palestinian factions, including Fatah and Hamas, in Cairo, Palestine News Network reported.

People celebrated in the streets of Ramallah, central West Bank, and Gaza City, where they carried Fatah flags without any harassment by the Hamas-run police. Palestine TV was seen conducting interviews and podcasting in Gaza after a four-year ban, while in Ramallah Hamas officials were hosted by the TV station for the first time in years.

Palestinian sources announced on Wednesday that practical steps to end the Palestinian internal division will start after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ speech in Cairo. The first step will be the release of those detained by the security forces in Gaza and the West Bank.

After the celebrations, Hamas and Fatah will begin talks to form the technocrat government, which will take responsibility to prepare for new parliamentary and presidential elections.

On Tuesday, Fatah and Hamas signed the historic agreement for a future unity government in Cairo, Egypt. Israel condemned Fatah for signing the deal, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Abbas to cancel the deal before being officially launched on Wednesday.

Previously, Netanyahu called on the Fatah party to choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas as there “is no possibility for peace with both.” Fatah and Israel engaged in the last year’s unsuccessful peace talks amidst Hamas rejection.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority stalled the negotiations after the Jewish nation refused to extend a moratorium on settlement building in occupied Palestinian territory in September. In response, Abbas broke off direct talks after as recommended by Hamas.

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