The Palestinian Authority and Palestinian factions agreed to form a ‘high national commission’ to monitor and supervise the Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip, which is expected to start on August 15.

Following a series of meetings between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who arrived to Gaza on Wednesday, and leaders of Palestinian factions, all factions affirmed commitment to the unofficial truce, but vowed to retaliate if Israel resumes attacks against resistance operatives or civilian targets.

The affirmed commitment to ‘calm’ is expected to set an end the latest round of violence, including mortar attacks against Israeli targets. Once again, Abbas managed to prove that calm is possible to maintain through dialogue with Palestinian resistance groups as long as Israel refrains from initiating military attacks.   

Abbas also agreed to factions’ demand to have a role in preparations for Israel’s mid-August pullout from Gaza. 

‘All factions agreed to join a high national commission to coordinate and consult with the Palestinian leadership over the Israeli withdrawal,’  Samir Mashharawi, a Fatah leader in Gaza said following the Thursday night meeting.

‘Abu Mazen asserted in his meeting with the factions that everyone must abide by the calm,’ Mashharawi added.

Yet, Hamas confirmed that while it would respect the shaky truce, it would retaliate to every Israeli assault, according to the movement spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri.

Sources close to the meeting reported to IMEMC that Abbas also managed to gain factions’ approval for his proposed amendment to the election bill, in which he proposes that 50% of the parliamentary seats be elected through nation wide political lists, as opposed to 30% in the bill approved in the second reading by the Palestinian legislative council members. 

Apparently, there was no agreement concerning the two disputed issues; election repeats, which Hamas vehemently opposes and setting a date for parliamentary elections.