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Hamas marks 25th anniversary of Islamic movement

Xinhua)  15:54, December 14, 2012

Thousands of Palestinian Hamas supporters take part in a rally marking the 25th anniversary of the Islamic movement, in the West Bank city of Nablus on Dec. 13, 2012. (Xinhua/Ayman Nobani)

RAMALLAH, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of Hamas supporters in the West Bank marked the 25th anniversary of the Islamic movement which controls the Gaza group for the first time in years.

Hamas members gathered in the city of Nablus, waving green flags. The last time they did so was before their movement wrested control of Gaza from forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party in 2007.

The crowds chanted slogans supporting unity and national reconciliation, some Fatah officials also attended the festival.

After the end of an eight-day clash between Hamas and Israel in Gaza last month, Hamas took steps to allow Fatah members in Gaza to participate in activities marking the "victory" over Israel.

"Achieving the reconciliation has become sooner than ever," said Amin Maqboul, a member of Fatah revolutionary council, during the rally.

He added that Abbas and Khaled Meshaal, Hamas' chief, will meet soon "to make real the unity."

Hassan al-Bourini, a Hamas lawmaker in the West Bank, called for more steps on the way of reconciliation, mainly halt arresting Hamas members in the West Bank.

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