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Abbas stresses govt has monopoly on force

Jan. 17, 2013 9:48 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 19, 2013 2:58 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas held a meeting of security chiefs on Thursday after gunmen held protests in West Bank refugee camps over the past week.

The president said that no one is above the law, stressing that the government has a monopoly on the use of force, in comments carried by the official Wafa news agency.

Abbas issued instructions to the security services to intensify their efforts to maintain security in accordance with the law, Wafa said.

Over the past week, gunmen claiming affiliation to Fatah's military wing held protests in Nablus' Balata refugee camp and the Jenin camp.

They say they are protesting confiscation of their weapons by Palestinian Authority security forces and detention of group members.

The protesters call themselves resistance fighters who support the president, targeting blame for the security crackdown on PA security officials. Fatah's military wing officially disbanded in the aftermath of the second intifada.

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