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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Palestinians Rally Against Violence

AL FAWAR, West Bank -- Launching an all-out campaign against Moslem militants, Israeli troops raided this refugee camp Monday, herding hundreds of Palestinians into a school yard and arresting fugitives suspected of helping suicide bombers.


In sharp contrast, thousands of Palestinians rallied in Gaza City to denounce the three suicide bombings by the militant Hamas group that killed 44 innocents in eight days.


"We will not allow any group to resort to guns," Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat told the cheering crowd amid chants of "No to violence, yes to peace." Some carried banners in Hebrew.


The rally marked the first time Palestinians distanced themselves in such an unequivocal way from attacks on Israelis, and was apparently designed to shore up eroding support in Israel for continued peace talks with the Palestinians, although the crowd was much smaller than for past anti-Israel demonstrations.


Arafat's security forces, under pressure from Israel, rounded up 125 more suspected militants overnight in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, bringing to 380 the number arrested since the first two bombings Feb. 25.


Two of the suicide bombers, responsible for twin bombings Feb. 25, were from the West Bank refugee camp of Al Fawar near Hebron.


At about 4 a.m. Monday, hundreds of Israeli soldiers surrounded Al Fawar. Troops ordered all men over 16 to gather in the school yard. About 800 men assembled in the yard, sitting behind rolls of barbed wire.


Soldiers collected identity cards and called the men one by one for questioning. Other troops searched homes in the camp, a Hamas stronghold.