JERUSALEM (JTA) — A commemoration rally in Gaza for the late Palestinian Fatah party leader Yasser Arafat was canceled after attacks on Fatah leaders there.
The event set for Tuesday was canceled on Sunday, two days after the homes and cars of Fatah leaders were blown up, as well as the stage where the commemoration was to take place.
Hamas has denied responsibility for the attacks.
A crowd of hundreds of thousands was expected to attend the rally, which was being held on the 10th anniversary of Arafat’s death, Reuters reported.
“After the series of explosions and assaults against Fatah leaders, we have been notified by Hamas’ political and security officials that security services won’t be able to take charge of security arrangements during the Arafat anniversary ceremony,” a senior Fatah leader in the Gaza Strip told the Palestinian Maan news agency.
It would have been the first time that a public commemoration of Arafat’s death would be held in Gaza since it was taken over by Hamas in 2007.
In June, Hamas and Fatah formed a unity government under Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.