Palestinians plan security in case of Arafat's death
Officials meet to discuss workings of governing body
RAMALLAH, West Bank (CNN) -- Palestinian security patrols began Sunday in Gaza after a meeting between officials aiming to keep peace and national unity while Yasser Arafat is in a hospital.
Palestinian politicians, security officials and political factions worked out a security plan Saturday, the first time they have so openly discussed the issue.
At first each Palestinian group will send out security patrols, then later in the week they will combine efforts on joint units.
Officials fear violence will break out if Arafat dies. The 75-year-old Palestinian leader remains near death in the French military hospital where he has been since October 29. (Full story)
One official described Saturday's meeting as "very positive."
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei met with representatives of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the major security organizations.
"It was a very important meeting. It may be the first of its kind where the government, the legislative council and heads of security forces have met with leaders of national and Islamic movements," said Qorei, who also met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniya. "It was held under the banner in faithfulness to the leading brother, President Yasser Arafat.
"May God bring [Arafat] back healthy soon so that he will continue leading this march. We discussed a number of fundamental issues which affect all our people in the West Bank and Gaza."
All political factions in Gaza will be involved in major decision-making, participants decided, and a follow-up committee was formed.
The Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee also met to discuss how the Palestinian Authority should run on a day-to-day basis.
The Palestinian Authority's basic succession law calls for the parliament's speaker to serve as acting president for 60 days until an election can be held.
International representatives, including Norwegians and Americans, have also met with Palestinian officials.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad are Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist groups that have admitted to terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. Israel and the United States consider them terrorist organizations.
CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Sausan Ghosheh, Michael Holmes and Waffa Munayyer contributed to this report.