Palestinian militants will give up armed parades

Palestinian militant groups promised President Mahmoud Abbas to end their armed parades in the Palestinian streets.

Sa'eed Seyam, leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in Gaza, told reporters following a Wednesday night meeting attended by Abbas and leaders of 13 major Palestinian factions that armed parades would be halted in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank from Saturday at the behest of Abbas.

"There is a consensus on ending all armed celebrations and rallies from Saturday and there will be no show of arms in the streets since then," said Seyam.

He added that all the factions including Hamas would be committed to the decision, but stressing at the same time that the halt of armed rallies "doesn't tantamount to disarmament."

Militants' agreement to halt armed rallies came one day after the international Quartet committee, which groups key Mideast mediators of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia, urged the Palestinian National Authority headed by Abbas to dismantle militant groups.

Large armed rallies organized by militant groups were staged to celebrate the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip last week.

Abbas, a veteran moderate Palestinian leader, has resisted growing pressures to disarm militants for fear of sparking civil war, Xinhua reports.

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