supporters, Abbas’ Fatah party, in a show of power, closed shops and
private schools throughout the West Bank, calling for a general strike. Hamas returned the
move by closing all ministries in protest of Fatah’s attacks on
Abbas condemned the fighting and ordered all security forces to withdraw. The Palestinian Interior Ministry heeded the president’s orders and withdrew its executive force from some positions in Gaza. Abbas also called for an official investigation into the fighting.
During a telephone conversation late Sunday night, Abbas and Haniyeh agreed to do all they can to stop the violence and restart negotiations concerning the national unity government, according to Haniyeh’s office.
Haniyeh told reporters in Gaza, “We [Abbas and I] have agreed all parties must abide by the law and that they should not get involved in any kind of behaviour that may lead to the spread of chaos."
Haniyeh recognized the need to unify all political factions and said to reporters, "I appeal to all citizens to be responsible and to abandon their differences, especially in the time we are facing an escalation by the occupation forces, who threaten to enlarge their scale of aggression.”
Also Monday, Fatah militants released Samir Birawi, a Hamas official in the Finance Ministry, after kidnapping him and torching his car in protest of the violence in Gaza.
Sourced from Haaretz, Maan News Agency and Al-Jazeera