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Saturday, 22 December, 2001, 13:55 GMT
Palestinians bury their dead
Funeral of Islamic Jihad supporter in Jabaliya in northern Gaza
It was the worst inter-Palestinian violence for years
The funerals have taken place in Gaza of six Palestinians who died on Friday in some of the worst fighting between Palestinians for years.

Sixty people were injured in the clashes, which took place between Islamic militants and Palestinian police.

The ball is now in the Israeli court to stop all acts of aggression

Saeb Erekat
The violence came as the radical Palestinian group Hamas said it was halting until further notice its suicide attacks on targets inside Israel.

Another militant group, Islamic Jihad, distributed leaflets at the funerals saying it would do its part to preserve Palestinian unity - but stopping short of any explicit commitment to suspend attacks.

A senior Palestinian representative, Saeb Erekat, said the onus was now on Israel to make the next move towards ending the conflict.

Quiet returns

The six separate funerals in and around Gaza City all took place without incident, as Palestinian leaders called for an end to the inter-Palestinian violence.

Thousands of people took part in the ceremonies, which were mostly low-key events. No firearms were allowed.

A summer training school for suicide bombers run by Islamic Jihad
Islamic Jihad trains suicide bombers
At one point, mourners formed a human chain to prevent any further trouble, according to the French AFP news agency.

The relative quiet came after a late-night meeting between representatives of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority and of the hard-line militants on ways of preserving Palestinian unity.

The meeting resulted in a compromise over the fate of a senior Hamas leader, Abdul Aziz al-Rantissi.

Thousands of Hamas supporters turned out on Thursday to prevent Palestinian police from arresting Mr al-Rantissi.

Israeli tank
Israeli troops have made incursions into Palestinian areas
He has agreed to be confined to house arrest and not to give media interviews in return for the Palestinian police suspending their effort to apprehend him.

The chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, says the next move towards halting the conflict in the region is now up to Israel.

Mr Erekat said Israel could stop its selective attacks on militants and lift the blockade of Palestinian areas.

Israel has given a sceptical reaction to the Hamas ceasefire announcement, while the United States called for a halt to all violence and urged Yasser Arafat to take more action against militants.

The BBC's Caroline Hawley
"Tears here not just for the dead, but for shattered Palestinian unity"
See also:

22 Dec 01 | Middle East
Palestinians wait for Israeli move
20 Dec 01 | Middle East
Israeli tanks pull back
20 Dec 01 | Middle East
Hamas may end suicide attacks
16 Dec 01 | Middle East
Arafat pleads for talks with Israel
16 Dec 01 | Middle East
Palestinian police shut out militants
13 Dec 01 | Middle East
Palestinian leader's house raided
13 Dec 01 | Media reports
Palestinian radio hits back at Israel
13 Dec 01 | Middle East
US and EU to maintain Arafat link
12 Dec 01 | Middle East
Arafat says Sharon has him marked
21 Dec 01 | Middle East
Analysis: Reasons for Hamas truce call
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