Palestinians work on cease fire

May 23, 2007 at 8:33 PM

TEL AVIV, Israel, May 23 (UPI) -- Palestinian leaders are trying to secure a cease-fire between rival factions to calm an escalating conflict with Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met privately Tuesday night with Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, The New York Times said Wednesday. At least 52 Palestinians have died in factional fighting between Abbas's Fatah group and Haniya's Hamas group.

The newspaper said Abbas also is trying to restore a cease-fire with Israel.

Hamas wants a comprehensive end to hostilities that would cover both Gaza and the West Bank. But the Israelis say the rocket fire from Gaza must stop before a West Bank cease-fire will be considered.

A Haniya adviser said Palestinian resistance factions are unlikely to agree to a Gaza-only cease-fire.

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