Abbas threatens crackdown on terror groups

Thursday, April 28, 2005 | 
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has issued his sternest warning yet to Islamic terrorists opposed to the cease-fire with Israel. "Whoever violates this general consensus...must be hit by an iron fist," Abbas said. "Whoever wants to sabotage [the truce] with rocket fire or shooting must be stopped by us even if that requires using force." Abbas made the threat after Palestinian militiamen fired rockets and mortars at Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip. Abbas is under pressure from the US and Israel to crackdown on terrorists responsible for suicide bombings and shooting attacks. But until now, he's rejected using force against groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, fearing it could lead to civil war. Israel welcomed the remarks but said that Abbas would be judged by his deeds, not his words.

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