More than 200 Palestinian resistance operatives have pledged not to carry out acts of violence, considered an important step towards solving the problem of “wanted” Palestinians, a Palestinian official said on Tuesday.

 

The Palestinian Authority has offered to absorb a thousand of armed resistance operatives in its security and civil branches.

The ones, who pledged not to carry out acts of violence, refused the PA demand to handover their guns. Yet, the PA considers the pledge as an important step forwards.

Abdel-Fattah Hamayel, a PA official in charge of the “Wanted” file, said Tuesday that about 80 wanted men had already started working for West Bank security services.

“It is only the beginning. At the end of this process the only legitimate weapons will be the weapons in the hands of the Palestinian Authority,’ Hamayel told Reuters.

The pledge, which the resistance operatives have signed, includes a promise ‘not to carry out any action that violates security and rule of law and agreements reached between the Palestinian Authority and any state or party’.

Most of them refuse to hand their guns over fears that Israel might move against them, especially the ones accused of involvement in military attacks against Israeli targets.

The effort to secure signed pledges has been aimed mainly at Fatah operatives in the West Bank. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have refused to lay down arms although they have committed to a de facto truce.

But Zakariya Zubeidi, a West Bank leader of Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, said he, too, would never disarm. ‘Abandoning a gun is like abandoning one’s honor,’ he said.

 

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