Rally to commemorate Arafat called off in Gaza

A rally scheduled for Tuesday in Gaza to mark the 10th death anniversary of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has been called off, senior officials said Sunday.

Gaza: A rally scheduled for Tuesday in Gaza to mark the 10th death anniversary of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has been called off, senior officials said Sunday.

The decision was made "in fear of having more security deterioration and that the security forces will not be able to control the situation in case the rally is held and security deteriorates", Xinhua quoted a spokesperson with the Gaza-based interior ministry as saying in a statement.

Earlier on Friday, a series of explosions in the Gaza Strip targeted the cars and houses of 10 Fatah leaders and the stage prepared for the rally, but no injury was reported.

The interior ministry said it has officially informed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah Party that it will not be able to fully ensure security for the rally.

Fatah officials accused the Hamas movement, which still rules Gaza, for being responsible for the explosions and the attacks on Fatah leaders and their properties.

However, Musa Abu Marzooq, a senior Hamas leader, told reporters in Gaza Saturday that Hamas has no link to the explosions.

The Fatah Central Committee said in an official statement Sunday that it has officially decided to call off the rally in Gaza to commemorate Arafat.