Via a spokesman for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, it has been announced that the president has dismissed the Hamas-led government and declared a 'state of emergency.' Abbas' move comes after Hamas militants have captured the majority of remaining Fatah strongholds in the Gaza Strip.
AFP reports that Abbas' statement included the following:
"I have issued the following decree: the sacking of Prime Minister Ismail Haniya. Second, the proclamation of the state of emergency in all the Palestinian territories because of the criminal war in the Gaza Strip, the taking over of the security services of the Palestinian Authority, the military coup and the armed rebellion by outlaws."
The US, EU, Japan and others are expected to support Abbas and the Fatah party against Hamas. Japan has previously agreed to provide aid directly to Abbas rather than to the government led by Hamas.