RealNews

Israel Keeps Heat on Palestinian Militants

Israel kept up pressure on Palestinian militants Tuesday, snatching two wounded fighters from their hospital beds as members of the Islamic group Hamas went underground to evade Israeli helicopter attacks. Reformist Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, vying with President Yasser Arafat for control of security forces key to meeting U.S. demands for a crackdown on militants, planned to convene parliament next week to discuss his government’s future. A moderate and proponent of a U.S.-backed Middle East peace plan, Abbas has been weakened by the collapse of a truce he brokered, a surge in Israeli-Palestinian violence and moves by Arafat widely seen as attempts to undermine his authority. The legislative session, which a senior Palestinian official said could lead to a vote of confidence, would give Abbas an opportunity to shore up support some 100 days after Arafat reluctantly appointed him under U.S. and Israeli pressure. Full Story

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