Fatah-Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades chiefs defy Mahmoud Abbas’ ban on unauthorized persons bearing arms on West Bank

Abbas gave the order in default of a pledge he gave Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert at Sharm al-Sheikh Monday, June 25. In return for Israeli immunity from arrest, Abbas promised to collect signed statements renouncing terrorism from Fatah-al Aqsa members, have them turn in their weapons to the Palestinian Authority forces for registration and join up with Palestinian security forces.
Abbas explained he needed the Brigades fighters, many of whom are wanted for orchestrating suicide attacks against Israel in the last decade, to combat Hamas on the West Bank.
The Israeli defense forces and Shin Bet conduct nightly raids against terrorists of all the Palestinian groups thereby holding down suicide attacks against Israel. Olmert told Abbas his Fatah fighters would have immunity if he held them to Israeli conditions starting Tuesday, June 26. Instead, Abbas issued an order banning unauthorized persons from bearing arms which had no chance of being obeyed.

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