So­cial rec­on­cil­i­a­tion moves for­ward in the Gaza Strip

Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By ADAM RASGON

In a pub­lic square in Gaza City on Thurs­day, thou­sands of Gazans par­tic­i­pated in a so­cial rec­on­cil­i­a­tion cer­e­mony, ad­vanc­ing un­der­stand­ings be­tween Fatah dis­si­dent Mo­ham­mad Dahlan and Ha­mas.

In July, Dahlan and Ha­mas of­fi­cials agreed in Cairo to take ac­tion to pro­mote so­cial rec­on­cil­i­a­tion be­tween fam­i­lies whose mem­bers were killed in fight­ing be­tween Ha­mas and Fatah in Gaza in 2007 that ended in the po­lit­i­cal di­vi­sion of the Pales­tinian ter­ri­to­ries.

Dahlan and the Ha­mas of­fi­cials de­cided to set up a United Arab Emi­rates-backed fund to make pay­ments of ap­prox­i­mately $50,000 to fam­i­lies that lost their sons in the in­ternecine Pales­tinian con­flict in 2007, in re­turn for pub­licly re­nounc­ing the de­mand to avenge their deaths.

On Thurs­day, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of 100 fam­i­lies stood on a stage be­fore re­ceiv­ing their pay­ments.

“To­day we em­body the mean­ing of unity and na­tional rec­on­cil­i­a­tion through repa­ra­tions,” Fatah law­maker Ma­jed Abu Shamala, who is close to Dahlan, said in a speech.

Some 140 fam­i­lies have re­ceived pay­ments so far, which some an­a­lysts de­scribe as “blood money.”

A Ha­mas of­fi­cial, who spoke to The Jerusalem Post on the con­di­tion of anonymity, said that there are plans to com­pen­sate hun­dreds of ad­di­tional fam­i­lies in the com­ing weeks and months.

“We are mov­ing for­ward with this pro­gram to over­come the tragic events of 2007,” the of­fi­cial said in phone call. “We be­lieve it will help to mend the rift in our so­ci­ety.”

Reuters con­trib­uted to this story

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