Gaza – PNN – Crowds packed Gaza City’s streets today, chanting “The people want an end to division.” The demonstrators are demanding both Palestinian governments in Gaza and the West Bank end the four year old division and restore national unity.

Although Hamas security forces in Gaza didn’t attempt to break up the protests for most of the day, after night fell they surrounded demonstrators and used force to disperse them, beating some with batons, as many as five were reported injured.

Mahmoud Srour is a university student. He left class today demanding national unity.

“Yes for the unity of the Palestinian people in order to encounter an aggressive occupation that grabs our lands day by day, while each of the dividing parties are just taking care to their own political interests and ignore Palestine’s”

As part of the call for unity, some Palestinians have been on hunger strike and many demonstrators say say they are committed to continue demonstrating until they see results. Rewan Abu Shahla is one of the March 15 organizers in Gaza.

“We are staying here, whatever happens, we are staying because what we are calling for is noble and higher than anything. We are calling for unity for the sake of Palestine and we are raising this flag, the Palestinian flag, so we will never give this up”.

Despite mediation from Arab countries including Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, both Fatah and Hamas have been unable to agree on a path toward reconciliation.

Rami Al Meghari from Gaza contributed to this article. http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9713

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