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Hamas dismisses presidential decree banning armed militia


Ramallah/Gaza : Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has banned all armed militias operating in the Palestinian territory, a decree which Hamas that controls Gaza Strip dismissed Wednesday.

The presidential decree issued Tuesday said: "The armed militias and the irregular military or paramilitary formations are forbidden from carrying out any clandestine or public activities and anyone assisting them will be subject to legal inquiry."

The Palestinian president called on his newly formed emergency government "to end the phenomena of armed groups" and to "ban and confiscate all weapons, ammunition, explosives and other unlicensed combat material as well as any material that poses danger to public order".

Abbas published the decree after returning to Ramallah from the four-way summit at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh.

Meanwhile, Abu Obaida, spokesman of Hamas' military wing the al-Qassam Brigades, said presidential decree was "mere ink on paper and doesn't worth the ink that was used to write it".

"The resistance groups will not look at any decree when they go to combat the invasion and no one has the right to determine the groups' future as long as the occupation remains in place."

But Ahmed Abdel Rahman, a spokesman for Fatah movement, said Abbas' decree was part of his efforts to "tackle the security chaos and scenes of rebellion".

Last week, Abbas issued a decree banning the militias of the Islamic Hamas, which overran his security forces in the Gaza Strip and assumed full control over the enclave nearly two weeks ago.