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Palestinians, Militant Factions to Rally in Support of Palestinian Authority


Jubilant Palestinians and militant factions celebrating the Israeli pullout from the Gaza Strip are gathering in an abandoned Jewish settlement for a mass rally.

Palestinian factions were expected, at least temporarily, to set aside their internal rivalries and join in a unified show of support at Neve Dekalim for the Palestinian Authority and its president, Mahmoud Abbas.

However, leaders of three main militant factions -- Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- warned Wednesday they will not submit to government plans to disarm their groups.

In other developments, the Palestinian Authority says it will close its side of the Gaza-Egyptian border this evening, to stop surging crowds of Palestinians from crossing into Egypt. Egypt says it will seal its side as well, after clearing Gaza revelers from Egyptian territory.

Some information is provided by AP and AFP

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