Israel tells Abbas to disarm Hamas before elections
Hamas must disarm before participating in Palestinian parliament elections later this year, Israeli officials said Tuesday.
Raanan Gissin, an aide to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said the steps Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has taken so far are not enough if the Palestinians want to move forward with the "road map" peace plan.
"We are not getting involved in Palestinian politics, but we are saying that if Hamas participates in the elections and remains an armed group then we won't be able to advance in the peace process," Gissin said, according to The AP. Palestinians cannot move toward democracy if they have a group with a "private army" participating in elections, he noted.
Late Monday, Palestinian security forces arrested a member of a Hamas rocket squad. The detainee was released Tuesday.
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- Sharon says truce not enough, demands to disarm Palestinian groups