Palestinian truce holds as US to provide aid to PA security forces
Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas exchanged abducted activists late on Tuesday as a ceasefire between the rival movements continued to hold. The prisoner releases followed a meeting of high-ranking representatives from both factions, under Egyptian mediation in the Gaza Strip, according to Palestinian sources.
Dozens of people linked to both were kidnapped amid fierce battles last week that left more than 30 people dead.
Fatah and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire late Monday. Both sides had largely abided by the agreement during the first day, though one Hamas member was killed on Tuesday in the southern Gaza Strip.
Meanwhile, American President George W. Bush has ordered US$86.4 million in aid for security forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe on Tuesday. The aid will be used to support efforts to train, equip and reform Palestinian civil security forces commanded by Abbas, Johndroe conveyed.
- PA rejects Bush threats to withhold financial aid; new degree orders security forces to be attached to Interior Ministry
- Gaza Strip: Palestinian security forces deploy to enforce truce
- PA: Truce Talks Just After Full Israeli Withdrawal From Areas Under Palestinian Self-Rule
- PA willing to accept security responsibility; US, Egypt propose new cease-fire plan