Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday he expects Hamas to hand in its weapons after joining the Palestinian parliament this summer.
‘When a movement or militia is transformed into a political party, I would say that there will then be no need for them to possess weapons,’ Abbas told reporters.
‘There will be only one authority, one law, and one legal gun. The issue is very clear, and this has been common practice throughout history.’ He added.
In response, HamasÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s spokesperson Mushir al-Masri said his movement has no intention of disarming in July.
‘Our fingers will remain on the rifle triggers until the removal of the occupation. Participation in elections does not mean that Hamas is on the way to becoming a political party.’ al-Masri said.
Hamas invites outside leaders to move to Gaza after pullout
A Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip on Monday called on leaders of the Islamic movement who live abroad to return to Gaza after Israel vacates the Palestinian Strip.
Mahmoud a-Zahar, believed to be HamasÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s top leader in the Palestinian territories,Ã‚Â also said he would not agree to give up arms.
However, Israel intends to keep a tight control over the land, air and sea entrances and exits to the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Authority conditions its cooperation with handing over all Gaza crossings to PA security.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was set Monday to meet with the leaders of Palestinian opposition groups.