Abu Mazen is courting terrorists from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, the Popular Front (PFLP), Democratic Resistance Front and smaller organizations pledged to violence against Israel. Radio Palestine reported that Abu Mazen proposed giving the other parties 10 guaranteed seats in the new parliament, which is to elected July 17.

The Palestinian Authority leader fears that the Hamas terrorist organization will take control away from his Fatah party. The PA legislative council this week approved changes in the election law that calls for 70 per cent of the parliament members to be designated by regional elections. This system strengthens both Fatah and Hamas at the expense of smaller parties.

Abu Mazen's offer would potentially reduce the power of Hamas, which scored impressive victories in local elections over the past two months. One reason for their popularity is their practice of provisions to poor families while charging the PA with bribery and corruption.

Abu Mazen earlier this year tried to coax Hamas into the government and proposed they join the PA security forces in exchange for their giving up their weapons. Hamas accepted the invitation and reversed its previous position of boycotting the elections, but it has stated it will not give up its weapons.

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