RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Thousands of Hamas activists Friday participated in mass rallies in several West Bank cities marking 25 years for the launch of the Islamist movement.
It was the second day of public demonstrations, ending a five-year ban on such gatherings.
The Palestinian Authority, which runs the West Bank, allowed its archrival Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, to hold anniversary celebrations in Ramallah, Hebron and Tulkarm in the West Bank.
The break in relations between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas dates to 2007, when Hamas' armed group forced Palestinian Authority forces and their Fatah allies to flee the Gaza Strip, then took over the seaside enclave.
As a result, the Palestinian Authority outlawed Hamas' military wing, the Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, closed Hamas offices in the West Bank and banned all public activities by the group.