Hamas seizes Gaza

Hamas gunmen effectively took over the Gaza Strip after routing the rival Fatah at a key Palestinian Authority security compound.

Hamas declared victory Thursday after seizing the Preventive Security Service compound in Gaza City, a last stronghold of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah in the coastal territory. There were dozens of casualties in the battle and, according to some eyewitness reports, several Fatah men were executed after surrendering to Hamas.

Abbas, holed up in the West Bank city of Ramallah, was widely expected to declare an emergency government replacing his recent coalition with Hamas. Israel, for its part, held a top-level security conference on how to confront a Gaza Strip under full Hamas control.

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