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Fatah, Hamas Agree to Defuse Tension in Gaza
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Leaders of the ruling Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and former dominant Fatah movement agreed on Wednesday to resolve their differences through dialogue.

"There is no term of civil war in the Palestinian culture and tradition," Hamas prime minister Ismail Haneya told a news conference following a seven-hour meeting at his office in Gaza City.

Haneya believed that the meeting provided a basis for an internal ceasefire.

"We are serious of ending all sorrowful incidents, in which six Palestinians were killed," Haneya said.

The Palestinians "would never please the (Israeli) occupiers by keeping fighting and shedding of the Palestinian blood."

Fatah and Hamas leaders told the news conference that they agreed to launch immediate probe into a series of assassination attempt and gunbattle between loyalists of the two rival groups, and urged the security forces to cooperate with the inquiry.

Violence has escalated in the Gaza streets since the 3,000-strong security force were deployed on May 17, although President Mahmoud Abbas vetoed the Hamas decision to create the force.

Samir al-Masharawi, a Fatah delegate to the meeting, called on all Fatah supporters to adhere to the agreement.

(Xinhua News Agency May 25, 2006)


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