Monday, November 5, 2007
PA surrounds Nablus camp in pursuit of Al-Aqsa gunmen
"Some 200 Palestinian police sealed a crowded West Bank refugee camp Monday and traded fire with militants holed up inside, the first major battle in Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' campaign to assert control over gunmen and persuade Israel he can implement a future peace deal.....
The streets of the camp, a militant stronghold, were littered with rocks and overturned trash containers - a scene reminiscent of frequent Israeli army raids in recent years. Residents watched from their balconies. Near a mosque, police peeked around a corner, then fired down a narrow street.
Both sides said they would not back down.
"They are trying to enter the camp and we will not let them, Nasser Abu Aziz, an Al-Aqsa gunman, said in a telephone interview. I'm in the middle of shooting, I can't talk much," he said, before hanging up.
Ziad al-Ali, a Palestinian security chief, said the Al-Aqsa Brigades must disband, noting that nearly all the group's members have accepted an amnesty deal with Israel, brokered by Abbas, in which they agreed to disarm.
"We had given them a deal with the Israelis, and there is no longer a need for them [the brigade] to exist," he said......."