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Palestinian president declares emergency after Hamas routs Fatah forces in Gaza
Thursday, June 14, 2007 :Palestinian President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the three-month-old unity government and declared a state of emergency throughout the Palestinian Authority on Thursday after Hamas militiamen routed Fatah forces and seized control of virtually the entire Gaza strip, the home of 1.4 million Palestinians.
Abbas, who no longer exercises any effective power in Gaza, announced the dismissal of the prime minister, Ismail Haniya of Hamas, and the establishment of an emergency government that would rule by decree until new elections were held some time in the future. Hamas spokesmen dismissed Abbas’ decree, producing a de facto split between Gaza and the West Bank, which remains under Fatah control. Hamas defeated Fatah in parliamentary elections held in January of 2006.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice quickly issued a statement supporting Abbas’ moves and signalling Washington’s continuing support for Fatah in the bloody civil war with the Islamist Hamas movement.
Hamas fighters on Thursday took over the headquarters of Fatah’s Preventive Security forces and the military intelligence building in Gaza City. They marched Fatah soldiers through the streets and reportedly executed some of them on the spot. Later in the evening Hamas forces seized the presidential compound, the last remaining bastion of Abbas’ authority in the Gaza Strip.Read More