GAZA, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Friday to meet the populations of the Gaza Strip soon, saying there is no alternative for achieving unity, reconciliation and ending the internal division.
Abbas' words came in a speech he addressed via phone to one million Fatah supporters who attended a central rally in the Gaza Strip that marked the 48-year anniversary of Fatah movement, which was found on Jan. 1, 1965.
"We will meet soon and I shake the hand of everyone of you," Abbas said, who considered the celebrations in Gaza "as a significant event that aims at gaining unity and achieving reconciliation."
Abbas, head of Fatah movement, told the crowds from his office in Ramallah that "Fatah yesterday is the same Fatah of today," and "Fatah was born to serve the state of Palestine and it is loyal to the Palestinian cause."
Islamic Hamas movement, which has been ruling the Gaza Strip since it had violently seized control of it in June 2007, gave a permission to Fatah to hold Friday's rally, the first time in six years. In November 2007, Fatah held a rally to commemorate the third anniversary of the death of its late leader Yasser Arafat, but the rally was ended by violence.
"National unity is the base that all Palestinian factions are counting on," Abbas said, adding that in addition to achieving unity and reconciliation, "ending the Israeli siege is another important priority in order to make Gaza Strip free and join the entire free Palestinian territories."
"The rally is a clear message saying that the Palestinians back the correct political line of the Palestinian leadership and President Abbas, the president of the state of Palestine," Nabil Abu Rdeineh, spokesman of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) presidency, said in a press statement.
He added that "the Palestinian spring is the spring of the victory the Palestinian leadership achieved in the United Nations and the spring of keeping and protecting the Palestinian principles and merits."
Abu Rdeineh also said that "the rally is a clear Palestinian message to the Israeli leaders who made statements that directly targeted President Abbas and Palestine Liberation Organization ( PLO)."
"This million-man-woman rally is a message to Israel and to Hamas movement and to the Palestinian people," Amal Hamad, a Palestinian female member of Fatah movement's central committee from Gaza, told Xinhua.
"The crowds came to tell Hamas that we are eager for reconciliation and unity, and tell (Benjamin) Netanyahu, the Israeli premier that the Palestinian state will be established soon whether he accepts it or not," said Hamad.
Faisal Abu Shahla, a Fatah lawmaker in the Palestinian Legislative Council, told Xinhua that Fatah movement "is for unity and for ending the internal division."
"The hundreds of thousands took to the streets to renew the pledge of allegiance to President Abbas and to tell Hamas movement