Friday, May 26, 2006

Hamas pulls terrorist security branch off the streets

Thanks mainly to a hardline stance by Abbas and his Fatah party.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - The Hamas-led government withdrew a controversial 3,000-member private militia from the streets of Gaza on Friday, saying it wanted to reduce friction with the rival Fatah movement.

The move came on the second day of Hamas' talks with Fatah aimed at halting violence and resolving a deadlock that has paralyzed the Palestinian government and frozen relations with most of the world.

The talks focused on President Mahmoud Abbas' demand that Hamas accept the idea of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. In a bold move, Abbas said Thursday he will hold a national referendum on the proposal in July if Hamas, which is committed to Israel's destruction, doesn't accept the plan within 10 days.

And it looks like Israel is helping Abbas as well, allowing Abbas to obtain new weapons for his personal security guard.