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Palestinian leaders debate security reform

GAZA, April 23 (UPI) -- The executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization met Saturday to discuss reforms and changes adopted by the interior ministry.

Palestinian sources said discussions during the PLO meeting, chaired by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, focused on unifying the security services, the changes in the security chiefs and the retiring of dozens of officers.

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The changes have been said to be "part of a plan aimed at developing the performance of the Palestinian security services to prepare for the next stage."

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Islamic Hamas movement said it hoped the changes were substantial and not just "cosmetic or symbolic."

Hamas Spokesman Mushir al-Masri said, "These steps are serious and not just part of only modernizing the services, but also to control their actions and to bring to account all those who violate the law."

He said the Palestinian people had "suffered from the bad situation of the security services...Therefore, controlling them will serve the public interests and get us out of this cycle of chaos."

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