Jordan has said it will host talks between Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud Abbas. This will be in a bid to ease inter-factional tensions between the Palestinian prime minister’s ruling Hamas group and the president’s once-dominant Fatah. A Palestinian government spokesman said a date had not been set: “The Jordanian prime minister has extended an official invitation from King Abdullah to Prime Minister Haniyeh to visit Jordan and to meet President Abu Mazen.”
Announcing concessions aimed at strengthening the moderate Abbas, after he called early elections against his Hamas rivals, Defence Minister Amir Peretz said Israel had agreed to remove some of the hundreds of roadblocks in the West bank, to allow Palestinians to travel more freely. A senior Abbas aide said the removal would be a step towards ending internal closures, to ensure the free movement of goods and people.
The Israeli cabinet also agreed to speed things up at the Karni commercial crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, on Monday, Israel was reported to have seized and detained nine Palestinians, including Yasser Nazzal, the head of the Popular Resistance Committees, and two Islamic Jihad militants. This was in raids in the West Bank town of Qabatiya, near the city of Jenin. Both groups have often fired rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip.