Palestinians fighting terrorism

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Friday, January 21, 2005

On Friday, the newly elected Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas ordered thousands of armed Palestinian security officials into positions in the northern Gaza strip to prevent terrorist strikes on Israel.

It is part of a plan that will include bolstering the security presence along the Gaza-Israel border, over the next few weeks. The plan ultimately will post three thousand troops in northern Gaza. It is the first time Palestinian forces have been used to protect the border from terrorist attacks since the resurgence of the Intifada in 2000.

Israel immediately responded to the move, with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon restoring dialogue with Abbas and continuing Israeli-Palestinian co-operation on intelligence and security.

Leaders of the militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad are also in talks with Abbas, although are publicly denying any agreement.