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Hamas rally stirs hope among Palestinians for unity

The green banners of Hamas were openly raised at Nablus on the West Bank as thousands gathered for the militant Islamist group's first permitted rally in the West Bank in five years, a sign of a thaw in a bitter split with Fatah, the faction that dominates the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas leader vows to continue Israel jihad

The leader of the Islamic militant group Hamas vowed to continue fighting Israel yesterday, as hundreds of thousands of flag-waving Gazans turned out to celebrate the organisation's 25th anniversary. Khaled Meshaal's visit to the Palestinian territory – a first since he went into exile in 1967 – underscores Hamas's rising clout and regional acceptance since its eight-day conflict with Israel last month.