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West Bank, Gaza Palestinians celebrate unity deal


Delighted Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Wednesday celebrated the signing of a reconciliation deal between bitter rivals Hamas and Fatah.

As Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal joined Fatah head and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas for a ceremony in Cairo to finalise the deal, hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets across the territories to show their support.

In Gaza, around 700 people marched to the Square of the Unknown Soldier waving Palestinian flags as well as the green and yellow flags of the two factions for a celebration of the long-awaited accord.

The atmosphere was festive, with demonstrators dancing in circles and letting off firecrackers as they cheered the deal aimed at ending years of division between the two rival national movements.

Many participants waved the green flag of Hamas, and there were more than a dozen people raising the yellow Fatah flag, which has been banned in Gaza for the past four years since the secular movement was ousted by the Islamists.

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