JERUSALEM, AP – Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will demand that all armed groups in the Gaza Strip represented in the new parliament disband immediately after Palestinian elections in January, a top aide said Wednesday, outlining what he described as a new security plan.
The aide, Rafiq Husseini, said the Palestinian Authority waited for the Israelis to withdraw from Gaza before implementing the plan. Israel left Gaza on Monday.
"Our plan is that … by the election, the Palestinian street will be cleaned of militias and illegal weapons," he told The Associated Press.
Starting next week, all gunmen affiliated with the ruling Fatah movement would be absorbed into the security forces and thus be brought under control, Husseini said.
"There are thousands of Fatah militiamen in Gaza, but luckily most of them are on the payroll of the Palestinian security apparatus, and that”s what makes it easier to handle them," Husseini said. "We waited until the (Israeli) withdrawal, because it would be easier to disband Fatah militias after the withdrawal."
The final phase "will include all Palestinian factions, and it ends with the parliamentary elections, as the president will ask all factions that have seats in the legislative council to disband their military wings in the areas under Palestinian control," he said.
The militant group Hamas has said it will have representatives run in the elections. The smaller militant group Islamic Jihad has said it won”t run.