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Abbas fires Haniyeh

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas fired Ismail Haniyeh, the P.A. prime minister. Abbas, a relative moderate based in the West Bank town of Ramallah, fired Haniyeh, who heads the Hamas Cabinet, on Thursday night after Hamas ended a civil war by assuming control of the Gaza Strip. Haniyeh said he would not step down. Israeli leaders were unhappy in January when Abbas’ Fatah Party entered into a coalition with Hamas in an unsuccessful bid to avert a civil war. Hamas is a terrorist group that rejects Israel’s existence. “The fact that President Abbas has fired the Hamas government is a very positive move in our opinion, and makes it easier to deal with and help the moderates,” Miri Eisin, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s spokeswomen, was quoted Friday as saying by the Associated Press.