Gazans rally for healing Palestinian rift

By Nour Abu Aisha

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Dozens of Palestinian protesters rallied in the Gaza Strip on Monday to call for healing a decade-long division between rival groups Fatah and Hamas.

“Division is shameful,” reads a banner carried by protesters during the rally, organized by local groups of Palestinian farmers and fishermen in Gaza outside the premises of the Palestinian Legislative Council (parliament).

Zakaria Bakr, coordinator of fishermen committees in the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, said the Hamas-Fatah rift has “destroyed the life of Palestinians on all aspects".

"We underline the necessity to end the Palestinian division for addressing the international community in one voice to lift the [Israeli] siege and end the occupation," Bakr said.

According to international estimates, 80 percent of Palestinians in the coastal enclave depend on international aid and 40 percent are under poverty line.

Relations soured between Hamas and Fatah following the former's victory in 2006's parliamentary elections. Palestinian infighting in the Gaza Strip a year later led to Fatah officials being ousted from the coastal enclave.

The two rival groups signed a reconciliation agreement on October 12, 2017; however, the agreement was not fully implemented due to major disagreements between them over several issues.