Hamas defies Palestinian president

PM says his government will go on after Mahmoud Abbas sacks him and declares emergency.

    Hamas fighters have routed Fatah forces
    and taken control of Gaza [EPA]

    Haniya said Abbas and his advisers did not consider "the consequences and its effects on the situation on the ground" in sacking Haniya's government and declaring a state of emergency.


    Imagined realities


    "President Mahmoud Abbas took premature decisions that betray all agreements reached," he said.


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    Hamas forces routed Fatah fighters in Gaza on Thursday, prompting Abbas, who is in Ramallah in the West Bank, to declare a state of emergency and dismiss Haniya's unity government made up of Fatah and Hamas representatives.


    Al Jazeera's Nour Odeh said both Abbas and Haniya spoke about "realities" that did not exist and are nearly impossible to enforce on the ground.


    The declaration of an emergency in Gaza is unlikely have any effect as Abbas's security forces have been defeated and the institutions of the Palestinian Authority overrun by Hamas.


    And Haniya's assertion that his unity government would continue sounded hollow as Fatah loyalists form the majority of the sacked government.


    Haniya blamed the latest bout of violence on Fatah supporters, accusing them of "having committed crimes and having killed citizens for their political allegiance and have executed others after kidnapping them".


    No separate state


    Despite his forces overrunning their Fatah rivals and taking over all security force buildings in Gaza, including the presidential compound, Haniya said Hamas had no intention of declaring a separate Palestinian state in Gaza without the West Bank.


    Gaza witness

    A resident tells Al Jazeera of the violence in her area

    "The Gaza Strip is an indivisible part of the homeland and its residents are an integral part of the Palestinian people. No to a state in the Gaza Strip only because the state is a whole that cannot be divided," Haniya said.


    "We will impose security firmly, decisively and legally," he said.

    "I call on the police and the [Hamas] executive force to impose law and order starting this moment, and to protect the compounds and private and public properties."


    He sounded a conciliatory note by calling on "my brothers in Hamas to declare a general amnesty and to guarantee people's lives".


    But Odeh said a quick reconciliation would be difficult as the core of the Palestinian Authority – the security apparatuses – had been undermined and Abbas had been humiliated further by having his presidential compound in Gaza seize by Hamas forces.

    Meanwhile, the Fatah-linked al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades urged Abbas to declare martial law, urging its fighters to mobilise in the West Bank and consider any Hamas member an "outlaw".

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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