Palestinian president urges armed groups to stop attacks on Israel
Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas issued a stern warning to armed factions on Saturday, saying he would not tolerate any further internal fighting or violations of a calm with Israel.
Abbas, in a televised speech to the Palestinian people, called on armed groups to reaffirm their commitment to the "calm" that he agreed with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in a summit earlier this year. "Our agreement on calm was done for the high Palestinian interest. We will not allow anyone to violate it," Abbas said, adding that such actions could undermine Israel's withdrawal from Gaza Strip.
He said Israel was using such attacks as a pretext for a military crackdown in Palestinian areas. Abbas said anyone involved in clashes with Palestinian security forces would be brought to justice, calling it a "big crime that will not pass without punishment." "Palestinian blood is holy and shedding it is a red line," he said.
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