Palestinian Government Falls

Abbas declares state of emergency following Hamas takeover of Gaza
By Sophie Goldstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2007 5:56 PM CDT
Palestinian Government Falls
Palestinian militants from Hamas stand in front of the preventive security headquarters after they captured it from Fatah loyalist security forces in Gaza City, Thursday, June 14, 2007. Hamas fighters overran one of the rival Fatah movement's most important security installations in the Gaza Strip on...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Hamas is in control of the Gaza strip this evening and Palestine's unity government dissolved, in what the moderate Fatah party is calling a coup d'etat. President Mahmoud Abbas declared a state of emergency in both the West Bank and Gaza, where the hard-line Islamic group seized control of the presidential compound at midnight (5 pm EST).

The state of emergency gives Abbas power to replace the Hamas-lead government with members of his own party, and to consolidate control over the West Bank, which Hamas has not yet captured. But many fear that today's developments end even the most remote possibility of peace in the region. The US says it backs Abbas; the EU has already pulled its relief workers from the area, and announced the suspension of $112 million in aid.  (Read more Palestinian Authority stories.)

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