Abbas later visited the nearby Balata refugee camp, where he was greeted by scores of Fatah gunmen belonging to the Aksa Martyrs Brigades.
Two of them, Ala Sanakreh and Ahmed Abu Salateh, appeared next to Abbas as he addressed thousands of supporters. The two are wanted by Israel for their role in a suicide bombing at Jerusalem's French Hill junction four months ago and other attacks. Abbas later held a closed door meeting with the gunmen and promised to help them after the election.
'I will do everything to protect these men,' Abbas vowed. 'The issue of the wanted men will be at the top of my priorities, in addition to the case of the prisoners.'
On the eve of Ababs's visit, Fatah members in the city murdered a 44-year-old man suspected of 'collaboration' with Israel.
The Aksa Martyrs Brigades have thrown their weight behind Abbas, calling on their supporters to vote for him. The group has also backed his call for an end to rocket attacks, and many of its gunmen say they won't oppose his efforts to reach a truce with Israel.
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