Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar on Monday urged Fatah members to join the armed resistance.
“Come to the program of resistance and stop wasting time and efforts, let’s put our hands together and carry the gun,” al-Zahar said at a ceremony to honor the victims of Israel’s war on Gaza.
“I tell Fatah members, those who want to participate on the ride of the victors and who want to celebrate and feel that he’s honored and carry the gun, we open our arms to them on the basis of resistance and to liberate Palestine, all Palestine, and those who want to do different than this we tell them we know our way, which is to Jerusalem,” he added.
In recent years, Fatah has pursued a non-violent, diplomatic route to statehood, which has drawn harsh sanctions from Israel and increased settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.
The Gaza-based head of Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Hanan al-Qassas, said Monday that his fighters had joined forces with Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades during Israel’s recent war on Gaza.
The military wings fought side-by-side in the war, building up good will between the factions, said al-Qassas, also known as Abu Jandal.
The 8-day assault ended with a ceasefire on Nov. 21 and was hailed in Gaza as a victory for the resistance.
A group of Fatah members who fled Gaza during fighting with Hamas in 2007 are expected to return to Gaza with their families on Monday, al-Qassas said, adding that more would return in coming months.