Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told his people in a televised speech Tuesday that he would take immediate steps to impose order in chaotic Gaza.
Abbas spoke a day after Israeli forces pulled out of Gaza. Since the withdrawal, Palestinian security forces have tried to prevent scavenging and looting in abandoned Jewish settlements, but have failed in most cases. Security commanders have said they don't have the manpower to do the job.
The Palestinian leader is under intense pressure from his people and the international community to stop the growing lawlessness in Gaza, where rival militant groups are jockeying for power. As Abbas spoke, hundreds of Hamas gunmen paraded through the streets of a nearby refugee camp.
In his speech, Abbas promised that "after today, we are not going to hesitate to put an end to all the negative signs and violations of law and order.
"We have one law for everyone and no one is above the law. We are not going to tolerate chaos after today," he said, but did not say how his security forces would improve their performance.
He said 3,000 housing units would be built in the former settlement of Morag in southern Gaza at a cost of US$100 million (Ђ80 million). Also, he said, 1,210 homes would be built in Rafah, on the Gaza-Egypt border with Saudi funding, and houses wrecked during more than four years of conflict with Israel would be renovated.
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