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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Hamas auxiliary force militants redeploys in Gaza

Gaza - Militants of the auxiliary force formed by the Hamas- led ministry of interior redeployed in the Gaza Strip Wednesday following a dialogue between rival movements of Islamic Hamas and Fatah, officials in Gaza said.

Said Siam, Minister of Interior in the Hamas-led government instructed the 3,000-strong force, mostly comprised of former Hamas militants, to redeploy positions in the Gaza Strip.

Since its formation, nearly one month ago, the force's deployment in Gaza Strip towns and village streets has been met with fierce clashes waged between the force militants and Fatah members which have seen ten Palestinians - and one Jordanian, killed and more than 30 others injured.

Fatah movement's spokesman Abdel Hakim Awad told Deutsche Presse- Agenture, dpa that during the meeting, Prime Minister Ismail Haniya informed both Hamas and Fatah leaders that the new force militants would scale back their presence in an attempt to restore calm to the Palestinian street. Haniya added that he intended to merge the militant force together with other police forces.

Leaders of Hamas and Fatah movements held a meeting on Wednesday in Gaza, and agreed to reactivate the inquiry committee they formed at the beginning of the clashes to end mutual fighting.

Palestinian witnesses said members of the auxiliary force were scarcely visible, remaining mainly at crossroads that lead to overcrowded neighbourhoods in towns and refugee camps in the Gaza Strip.

The witnesses added that some of the force militants stayed hidden, either in empty stores rented by the interior ministries in parked cars.

Source: Deutsche Presse-Agentur
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