Abbas: Al-Qaida present in Gaza, West Bank

Thursday, March 02, 2006 | 
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas signs of an Al-Qaida presence were prevalent in Palestinian territories. "We have indications about a presence of Al-Qaida in Gaza and the (West) Bank. This is intelligence information. We have not yet reached the point of arrests," Abbas said. Meanwhile, Abbas is transferring broad security powers to the future Hamas government today, including the national defense branch, preventive security, the civilian police and civil defense. "We'll grant Hamas authority over the Palestinians' national security because we need to have one body controling the situation to ensure security. I don't intend to deprive Hamas of what I demanded in the past from Yasser Arafat," he said.

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