Palestinian Authority bans citizens from carrying weapons

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Thursday, January 27, 2005 The Palestinian Authority banned citizens from carrying weapons this Thursday in a step to reduce violence while negotiations with Israel continue on a proposed ceasefire. In addition, they will appoint a new security minister known for his tough stance against militants — preconditions for peace talks with Israel.

If enforced, this ban will be a strong move against guerilla groups, which actively display their weapons in the Gaza Strip and West Bank due to the lack of control by the Palestinian security forces.

Furthermore, the Palestinian security forces are planning to move in to the southern Gaza Strip to rein in attacks against Israel, to supplement their forces currently deployed in the north.

Mahmoud Abbas' actions are winning praise from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who said Thursday that conditions are right for a breakthrough toward peace. He said that he is "very satisfied" with his actions, which aim to curb four years of attacks against Israel.