Gaza Strip: Hamas grants amnesty to senior Fatah leaders
On its first day of full rule in Gaza Strip, Hamas announced Friday that it is granting amnesty to senior Fatah leaders. Hamas also said Palestinian security forces, now under its command, would take control of Gaza's crossing with Egypt, which was monitored so far by European observers.
Earlier Friday, Hamas announced it had arrested 10 of the most senior Fatah leaders in the strip, including the commanders of President Mahmoud Abbas' own elite guard unit and the chief of the National Security force. However, Hamas' spokesman Abu Obdeidah later declared an amnesty for all Fatah leaders. Shortly after the announcement, three Fatah leaders were freed.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people swarmed through the unoccupied house of Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan after his neighborhood fell to Hamas, stripping everything, including windows, doors and flowerpots.
From his office in the West Bank town of Ramallah, Abbas declared a state of emergency Thursday, firing the Hamas-led government and its prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh. On his part, Haniyeh rejected Abbas' decision, calling it "hasty" and refusing to leave office. The situation was "not suitable for unilateral decisions," he said, according to the AP.