RealNews

Palestinian Leader Seeks Halt in Violence

The interim Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has asked Palestinian militants to halt violence during the campaign for Jan. 9 presidential elections, a participant in truce talks said Tuesday. Abbas is trying to work out a deal with rival Palestinian groups on a cease-fire and possible power-sharing. He held a joint meeting with representatives of 13 factions Monday, and was holding separate talks with them Tuesday, including with Hamas, the main opposition group and the main militant group carrying out anti-Israel attacks. Ziad Abu Amr, a lawmaker participating in the talks, said Hamas and Islamic Jihad have asked Abbas to establish a “unified leadership,” an umbrella group that would give the militants a role in decisions, at least until elections. Hamas and Islamic Jihad hope that such a leadership body will allow them to influence decisions, even though they apparently will not compete in the presidential election. The groups never explained how power would be distributed in such a body. Full Story

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