As Muslims around the world celebrate the end of Ramadan there are new hopes for reconciliation among Palestinians. The Festival of Eid el-Fitr is one of the high points of the Islamic religious calendar. Pilgrims converge on the holiest sites, like Mecca and the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
Restrictions were in place in the city and around the West Bank as Israelis were also celebrating the Jewish New Year. In the West Bank city of Ramallah, the Palestianian President Mahmoud Abbas led prayers for peace.
While in Gaza his rival, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, called for more dialogue with Abbas’s Fatah faction. “I hope this dialogue will succeed and the strife will end, bringing unity to our nation,” Haniyeh said.
The two sides have been deeply divided since Hamas drove Fatah out of Gaza in a power struggle in 2007. Eid el-Fitr is the start of a three day holiday in which Muslims feast and exchange gifts and visits.