Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and his Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya of Hamas agreed Wednesday to a joint force to fix a Hamas-Fatah ceasefire, reached last week, said Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rodaina.
Abu Rodaina added that during a meeting in Gaza today, both leaders discussed possible ways to consolidate the recent ceasefire between the two parties, following a spate of bloody confrontations that have been rocking the Gaza Strip since mid May.
The parties’ leaders also dealt with potential mechanisms to restore calm with Israel in the shadow of recent Israeli military escalation against the Gaza Strip and the resumption by resistance groups, including Hamas, of homemade shells fire into Israel.
The joint security force, made up of forces loyal to both Fatah and Hamas, will be entitled to implement a pending security plan, outlined earlier by the resigned interior minister, Hani aL-Qaqwasmi, who quit over lack of cooperation by the rival factions, said well-informed sources.
Since the beginning of 2007, 150 Palestinians have been killed throughout the Gaza Strip, due to Hamas-Fatah infighting, 52 of whom have been killed during the recent one-week-old wave of clashes.
The sources added that Abbas met with representatives with other resistance factions on possible restoration of calm with Israel, aimed at preventing further military escalation on the ground.
Today’s meeting between Abbas and Haniya is the first since the eruption of infighting over the past two weeks. The meeting was reportedly delayed more than once due to Israeli threats to assassinate Hamas leaders, topped by the Prime Minister, Haniya.
Israeli army actions in Gaza have thus far killed 36 Palestinians including seven children, as homemade shells fire into Israel has claimed the live of one Israeli woman and the slight injury of several others, mainly in Sderot town.
Current Israeli military attacks on Gaza are the first since Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to a mutual ceasefire over the past six months.