Egypt urges Palestinians to form one army

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 |  by Staff Writer  

Egypt is urging the Palestinians to form one army, comprising of all Palestinian factions in a bid to cease fighting between the Fatah and Hamas and solve the crisis within the Palestinian Authority.

They said Egyptian security officials have conducted a number of mediation sessions, which resulted in a cease-fire between the two factions that went into effect on Tuesday.

Terms for the cease-fire include withdrawing all armed gunmen from the streets, releasing those kidnapped, ending the war of words, making all attempts to prevent the fighting from spreading into Judea and Samaria and arresting those involved in killings.

Despite the cease-fire, Hamas commander Hussein Jamasi was shot and a member of the Fatah force, Atef Najjar, succumbed to his wounds from the fighting on Monday.

PA Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar, who is also a senior Hamas leader in Gaza, confirmed that the Egyptians were trying to persuade the Palestinians to form an army "that would represent all Palestinians."

Representatives of several Palestinian factions welcomed the Egyptian proposal, saying the time had come to reconstruct the PA security forces and end the anarchy.

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