Abbas breaks off contacts with resistance

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas has broken contacts with Hamas and Islamic Jihad after a blast claimed by both groups left 18 Israelis dead in west Jerusalem.

    Abbas (R) is expected to crack down on armed resistance

    A senior Palestinian official said on Wednesday that Abbas would take unspecified steps against the resistance groups which he held “responsible for harming the Palestinian national interests” with Tuesday’s bus explosion.

    After consultations with Palestinian ministers, Abbas decided to end dialogue with the two groups.

    The official said Abbas, who is under intense pressure from Israel and the United States to disarm and dismantle the groups, would take “action” against Hamas and Islamic Jihad but did not elaborate.

    The Palestinian Authority has so far refused to bow to Israel-US demands to dismantle the groups.

    Abbas ordered Palestinian security chief Muhammad Dahlan to investigate the bus blast.

    Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon froze all contacts with Palestinians following the explosion, which Hamas said was carried out in retaliation for Israel’s killing of activists.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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