Wednesday, October 19, 2005

PA has no intention of disarming terror groups

Jerusalem Post: Oct. 18, 2005 18:54 Updated Oct. 18, 2005 19:59 By KHALED ABU TOAMEH ...

On the eve of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's visit to Washington, the PA announced that it has no intention of disarming Hamas or other armed groups.

Abbas is scheduled to arrive in Washington on Thursday for talks with US President George W. Bush on the latest developments in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the Israeli disengagement. Sources close to Abbas said earlier this week that he would brief Bush on the PA's plan to confiscate 'illegal' weapons that are in the hands of various factions and militias, including Hamas.

However, Abbas's national security advisor, Jibril Rajoub, denied on Tuesday that the PA was planning to disarm Hamas or any other armed group. "We haven't called for disarming anyone," Rajoub said. "There is no decision to collect [illegal] weapons and we haven't taken any steps in this direction." The weapons of the "resistance" groups, Rajoub added, should remain intact and should not be used on the streets or to terrorize the PA and civilians. He admitted that the PA and its security forces had failed to deal with the state of anarchy that has swept the Gaza Strip after the Israeli withdrawal...

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