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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 April 2006, 21:35 GMT 22:35 UK
Hamas lays out new security plans
Fatah gunmen
Gunmen are an everyday part of life in Gaza City
The new Palestinian government has laid out its plans to ensure security in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, two days after an upsurge in violence in Gaza.

Interior Minister Siad Siyam, a member of the ruling Hamas group, said he hoped clan elders, mosques and local media could help to calm tensions.

He said he wanted to end armed clashes and show no group was above the law.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniya ordered armed groups off the streets after several people died in Gaza violence.

The Palestinians, who have seen security chaos and misrule for years, will have to wait a little more
Siad Siyam
Palestinian interior minister

"We will ensure that nobody is above the law and demand an end to the instability and armed chaos," Mr Siyam said.

But he said Palestinians' problems would not be solved by waving a "magic wand".

"The Palestinians, who have seen security chaos and misrule for years, will have to wait a little more, one year," he added.

Persuasion

Violence erupted in the Gaza Strip after a senior member of one Palestinian group was assassinated in a car bombing.

"We are giving the security forces all the authority and power to investigate this ugly crime and also the three killings and other casualties that followed," Mr Siyam told the AFP news agency.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ismail Haniya
Hamas' Ismail Haniya ordered all armed groups off Gaza's streets
Mr Siyam said that Hamas would use the traditional mechanisms of control in Palestinian society to try to restore order among a society filled with angry, heavily-armed groups.

Chief among those mechanisms are clan elders, mosques and the local media.

These elements are, of course, at work already, says the BBC's Alan Johnston in Gaza City.

But Hamas clearly believes that their roles can be enhanced and coordinated to marginalise those involved in anti-social behaviour, he adds.

Troubled days

The group whose senior member was assassinated accused Palestinian security services of collusion with Israel, a charge denied by both sides.

At least three died and dozens were hurt in ensuing violence, prompting Mr Haniyeh to ban all armed men from the streets.

But a Gaza leader of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party rejected the call, parading through the streets with followers.

The Hamas-led government was officially inaugurated on Wednesday.




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