Several police and security officers, who used to be linked to the routed Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called on Wednesday for a general strike in June14, 2008 on the first anniversary of Hamas’s takeover of the coastal region.

In a statement, reported by Maan News Agency, these officers reiterated commitment to the decisions of ‘ the legitimate leadership of President Abbas and the unity of the Palestinian people’.

The also condemned what they called ‘coup against legitimacy’ in June14, 2007, referring to the Hamas takeover of the Strip amidst a factional fighting with Fatah party.

The statement also called for visiting families of the victims of the ‘coup’, and avoiding any friction with the Hamas-led police forces on that marking day, which the statement describes as a ‘ black day’.

In Gaza, there are about 40,000 civil and security personnel, who continue to receive their salaries from the West Bank-based Abbas’s government, after such a government demanded a boycott of Hamas following the takeover.

The Islamist Hamas party and the secular Fatah party engaged in a fierce factional infighting, after Abbas called on December2006 for early elections to end an internationally-imposed economic embargo on the elected Hamas government.

A couple of months after Hamas won January2006’s elections, the international community, which considers Abbas as a moderate Palestinian leader, sidelined Hamas for shunning peace talks with Israel until Israel halts actions against the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank.