After nearly a half-century of existence, Fatah has left many loyalists and critics alike pondering its accomplishments. On New Year's Eve, the Palestinian political party -- which has led the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) for decades and currently holds the presidency of the Palestianian Authority (PA) -- celebrated its 48th anniversary. In Ramallah, a few thousand mostly young men marched across the West Bank city to the Muqata', the headquarters of the PA president and Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas. The streets were lined with the party's younger supporters, some elderly veterans clad in military fatigues and several high-ranking members of the group's leadership who are based in the West Bank.
As the marchers converged upon the headquarters -- once a ravaged icon of the second Intifada, today it stands a revamped modern military compound -- many started to trickle away.