PA bans civilians from carrying weapons
The Palestinian leadership banned civilians from carrying weapons and indicated on Thursday it would appoint a new interior minister known for his hardline stance against armed groups.
According to The AP, the ban on weapons signalled the Palestinian Authority's bid to take control of the streets. Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei issued the ban on civilians carrying weapons.
President Abbas and Qurei have also decided to name Nasser Yousef as the new Palestinian interior minister, a post in charge of security forces, a senior Palestinian official said.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian security forces deployed into the southern Gaza Strip to prevent rocket attacks on Israeli settlements.
Also in the Strip, the first municipal elections in its history were held Thursday in 10 districts. Hamas and Islamic Jihad were expected to pose a stiff challenge to the ruling movement of Fatah.