Abbas: We don't want armed militias in the Gaza Strip

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for local groups to disarm, saying that they hurt the push for a unified Palestinian state.

By YASSER OKBI/ MAARIV HASHAVUA
October 24, 2017 15:04
1 minute read.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas greets delegates after addressing the 72nd United Nations

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas greets delegates after addressing the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, US, September 20, 2017. . (photo credit: EDUARDO MUNOZ / REUTERS)

 
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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday that the Palestinian leadership does not want to see "types of armed militias" in the Gaza Strip.

Speaking to Chinese press from his Ramallah bureau, Abbas expanded on the recent unity deal between the rival Palestinian factions, saying that "we want unity from this reconciliation, and for no one to interfere with our inside business, because we don't interfere with the business of others. Every country that is interested in assisting should do it via the Palestinian Authority."

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Addressing the issue of several armed militias that persist in the area, the Palestinian Authority president added that "we need to have one authority, one law and one weapon- so that there won't be any militias. We ought to be like all the other countries in the world. We are not interested in militias because they are not successful. That is what we mean by reconciliation, and we act that way."

The deal between Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, which was signed October 12 and facilitated by Egypt, "details every part of this."

Abbas continued, adding: "We are marching ahead in implementing this. The reconciliation agreement in Cairo was very important."
Palestinian rivals Fatah, Hamas sign reconciliation accord, October 12 2017.

The Palestinian Authority president also stressed that "the rift that happened ten years ago after Hamas' coup in the Gaza Strip, very much hurt the Palestinian issue," referring to the ongoing Palestinian quest for statehood.

"There is no state in Gaza, and there will be no Palestinian state without Gaza, and so we acted determinedly for the reconciliation."

This latest comment underlined Abbas' previous statements that the Palestinian Authority must control everything following the reconciliation, including security.

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