Hamas Takes Charge in Gaza

Fatah still controls West Bank
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2007 6:28 AM CDT
Hamas Takes Charge in Gaza
Palestinians stand on sandbags outside a Fatah security headquarters during a demonstration against the factional fighting in Gaza City, Wednesday, June 13, 2007. The demonstration of several hundred tribal leaders, women, children and Islamic Jihad militants turned out in Gaza City for a protest initiated...   (Associated Press)

Hamas is in control of most of Gaza after a day of fighting in which its forces overran the headquarters of a major paramilitary force loyal to Fatah. The Times reports that Hamas militia surrounded the presidential compound in Gaza City, but president Mahmoud Abbas remains in the West Bank. Israel is likely to intervene if Hamas takes Gaza.

CNN reported that Fatah loyalists were paraded out of the security installation and executed in the street. The fighting divides the Palestinian Authority, with Hamas in charge in Gaza and Fatah in control in the West Bank, a situation some observers believe benefits Israel. A Fatah leader tells the Times: "This will be the end of an independent Palestinian state." (More Palestinian Authority stories.)

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