A Palestinian supporter waves a yellow Fatah flag during a celebration marking the 55th anniversary of the Fatah movement in Gaza City, Dec. 31, 2019
A Palestinian supporter waves a yellow Fatah flag during a celebration marking the 55th anniversary of the Fatah movement in Gaza City, Dec. 31, 2019
Photo: AP
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a ceremony marking the 55th foundation anniversary of the Fatah movement in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Dec. 31, 2019

Fatah marks 55 years with West Bank marches

Some dozen masked and armed men lead the procession of hundreds through Ramallah, with similar events planned elsewhere in territory in coming days; supporters of movement founded by Arafat also mark occasion in Hamas-ruled Gaza

Associated Press |
Published: 12.31.19 , 19:46
Hundreds of Palestinians marched through the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday to mark the 55th anniversary of the Fatah movement led by President Mahmoud Abbas.
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  • Established by Yasser Arafat in 1965, Fatah led the armed struggle against Israel for decades as the main component of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a ceremony marking the 55th foundation anniversary of the Fatah movement in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Dec. 31, 2019 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a ceremony marking the 55th foundation anniversary of the Fatah movement in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Dec. 31, 2019
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a ceremony marking the 55th foundation anniversary of the Fatah movement in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Dec. 31, 2019
    (Photo: AFP)

    The popularity of Abbas, and by extension Fatah, has plunged in recent years as he has failed to achieve an independent state or heal the rift with Hamas.
    Many Palestinians also accuse the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority of rampant corruption.
    A Palestinian supporter waves a yellow Fatah flag during a celebration marking the 55th anniversary of the Fatah movement in Gaza City, Dec. 31, 2019A Palestinian supporter waves a yellow Fatah flag during a celebration marking the 55th anniversary of the Fatah movement in Gaza City, Dec. 31, 2019
    A Palestinian supporter waves a yellow Fatah flag during a celebration marking the 55th anniversary of the Fatah movement in Gaza City, Dec. 31, 2019
    (Photo: AP)
    The PLO recognized Israel in the early 1990s at the start of the peace process, and since then it has been committed to a two-state solution.
    Around a dozen masked men led the march through Ramallah, firing several rounds of gunfire into the air.
    Similar marches are planned elsewhere in the West Bank in the coming days.
    Fatah has long vied with the terror group Hamas for leadership of the Palestinian national struggle.
    Palestinians take photos of fireworks during a celebration marking the 55th anniversary of the Fatah movement in Gaza City, Dec. 31, 2019Palestinians take photos of fireworks during a celebration marking the 55th anniversary of the Fatah movement in Gaza City, Dec. 31, 2019
    Palestinians take photos of fireworks during a celebration marking the 55th anniversary of the Fatah movement in Gaza City, Dec. 31, 2019
    (Photo: AP)
    In 2007, the two factions battled one another in Gaza, leading to a violent Hamas takeover of the coastal strip. Numerous attempts at reconciliation over the past 12 years have failed.
    The peace process with Israel ground to a halt over a decade ago, leaving the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority with limited control over parts of the West Bank but little hope of achieving an independent state anytime soon.
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a ceremony marking the 55th foundation anniversary of the Fatah movement in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Dec. 31, 2019 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a ceremony marking the 55th foundation anniversary of the Fatah movement in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Dec. 31, 2019
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a ceremony marking the 55th foundation anniversary of the Fatah movement in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Dec. 31, 2019
    (Photo: AFP)
    Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War. The Palestinian Authority wants all three territories to form a future state living alongside Israel.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently vowed to annex large parts of the West Bank, which would make it virtually impossible to establish a viable Palestinian state.

    First published: 19:46 , 12.31.19
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