Mahmoud Abbas  - AP - 16.03.2011
Mahmoud Abbas addressing the PLO’s central council on March 16, 2011. Photo by AP
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Senior members of Hamas' military wing told aides of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that it would not guarantee the Fatah leader's safety if he visited the Gaza Strip, Haaretz has learned.

PA officials interpreted these statements as a threat to Abbas. As of last night, an Abbas trip to Gaza for reconciliation talks with Hamas has been dropped from the agenda.

Hamas also announced yesterday that all Palestinian factions in Gaza have agreed to abide by a cease-fire if Israel halts its attacks in the Strip. Hamas met with Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Committees and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine to discuss the rising tensions in the south.

Some Palestinian commentators attributed the increase in hostilities with Israel to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's proposal that Abbas visit Gaza for reconciliation talks. In response, Abbas declared that he would be willing to travel to Gaza "as early as tomorrow" for negotiations on a unity government with Hamas.