Gaza militants prepare to fight as truce nears end

GAZA, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Crawling beneath bushes and planting bombs for practice attacks, Palestinian militants trained in the Gaza Strip on Thursday to resume fighting when a truce with Israel expires at year’s end.

Most Palestinian armed factions agreed to halt attacks on Israel until the end of 2005 and follow a “period of calm” at the behest of President Mahmoud Abbas, but many say they want to resume the uprising fully after Dec. 31.

Gunmen training in Gaza came from Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, part of Abbas’s Fatah, as well as the Popular Resistance Committees, an umbrella group that never backed the truce.

“Calm was a strategic mistake by the resistance and it will not be repeated,” said Abu Sharif speaking on behalf of the two groups.

(Excerpt)

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