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Hamas Militia Withdraws from Gaza

  • VOA News

The Hamas-led Palestinian government has withdrawn a controversial militia from the streets of the Gaza Strip, in an attempt to ease tensions with the rival Fatah faction.

The Hamas move came on the second day of on Friday in Ramallah between Hamas and Fatah aimed at ending factional violence that has led to fears of a civil war.

Hamas deployed about three thousand militiamen in Gaza earlier this month, triggering deadly clashes with Fatah forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

On Thursday, Mr. Abbas urged Hamas to accept within 10 days a proposal for a Palestinian state alongside Israel, or face a referendum on the idea.

Meanwhile, Palestinian officials say three young Palestinian men died after they accidentally set off an unexploded Israeli shell on Friday.

The officials had earlier said Israeli artillery fire killed the three Palestinians, but the Israeli army denied this.

Palestinian officials also said Israeli artillery fire killed a Palestinian farmer earlier today.

Israeli forces have been firing artillery into northern Gaza in response to rockets fired into Israel by Palestinian militants.

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