Gulf & Middle East
Abbas calls for end to rocket attacks into Israel
Apr 8, 2007 - 5:16:01 AM

Gaza City, April 8 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called on security forces in the Gaza Strip to stop homemade rocket attacks by militants against Israel.

'All security services, especially the presidential guard forces, must work to spread security and safety, end the security chaos and stop the firing of the absurd rockets,' Abbas said during a commencement ceremony in Gaza for hundreds of presidential guard members.

Militants frequently launch rockets from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel in what they call retaliation for Israeli actions in the West Bank. One such rocket landed Saturday, but no injuries were reported.

Palestinian militants Saturday delivered via Egypt to Israel a list of prisoners they want released in exchange for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, Palestinian Authority Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti said.

Unnamed Israeli officials admitted that there has been some progress in the case but warned that any deal will still take time, according to Israeli media. The prime minister's office refused to comment, saying the situation is 'sensitive.'

Shalit was captured in a June 2006 raid from Gaza into Israel. Militants holding the soldier want to exchange him for Palestinians held in Israeli jails.

Palestinian security forces said that a former resident of Gaza who now lives in Jaffa, Israel, was kidnapped late Saturday by unknown abductors. The man was in Gaza to visit family.

The Palestinian coalition government convened Saturday to discuss a plan aimed at restoring security in the Palestinian territories. Government spokesman Ghazi Hamad said that the plan relates solely to the Palestinian internal situation and has nothing to do with Israel.

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