Fayyad: PA responsible for attack in its territory
Palestinian prime minister pledges Palestinian Authority will fulfill its commitment to combat terror. During visit to Nablus he addresses terror attack near Hebron on Friday, admits shooting was carried out in region under PA's charge. Meanwhile PA interior minister announces: 'There is no al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades anymore'
"The attack was indeed carried out in Palestinian land under the control of the Palestinian Authority," said Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Saturday afternoon of the shooting of two off-duty Israeli soldiers south of Hebron the day before.
President Mahmoud Abbas' government has promised to take "harsh measures" against those behind the Hebron attack.
Fayyad was in Nablus on Saturday to survey the deployment of Palestinian security forces in the city. Hundreds of PA officers spread out through the streets with Israel's approval in an effort to maintain public order and combat terrorism.
Fayyad acknowledged that the attackers had set out from Palestinian territory and that the shooting had occurred on land under the PA's charge. He vowed that the PA would realize the pledge it had made to reign in armed groups.
Meanwhile Palestinian Interior Minister Abdel-Razak al-Yahya said on Saturday his government was dismantling militant groups, including those connected to Abbas' Fatah faction.
Palestinian security officials said Abbas's security crackdown in the West Bank had focused largely on Hamas Islamists, who seized control of the Gaza Strip in June after routing Abbas' forces there.
The officials said Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades largely agreed to go along with the government's
security plan in the West Bank without putting up a fight.
"There is no al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades anymore," Yahya told Voice of Palestine radio.
Israel and some al-Aqsa units dispute Yahya's assessment, saying the group remains active.
Efrat Weiss and Reuters contributed to this report