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Fatah Rally Draws Tens of Thousands in Gaza


Tens of thousands of Palestinian Fatah faction supporters have gathered in Gaza's main stadium, in a public show of confidence for President Mahmoud Abbas.

Witnesses say Sunday's rally marking the 42nd anniversary of the group's founding is one of the largest in Gaza in years. Mohammed Dahlan, an ally of President Abbas and prominent Fatah member, addressed the cheering crowd and openly taunted the rival Hamas faction, daring the group to assassinate him.

The rally follows a week of deadly fighting between Fatah and Hamas. Gunmen from both groups have fought street battles in Gaza and the West Bank as part of an ongoing power struggle.

On Saturday President Abbas outlawed Hamas' main military force in Gaza. Hamas rejected the announcement and vowed to double the number of its forces to 12,000 fighters.

Meanwhile, a photographer for the french news agency has been freed in the Gaza Strip after seven days in captivity. French news agency representatives say Palestinian security forces handed over Peruvian Jaime Razuri at the Gaza compound of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Unidentified gunmen kidnapped the 50-year-old man outside the news agency's Gaza office last Monday. Following his release, Razuri expressed relief and said his abductors treated him well.