The “Quartet” backed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to fire the Hamas prime minister and declare a state of emergency. “The Quartet expressed understanding and support for President Abbas’ decisions to dissolve the Cabinet and declare an emergency, given the grave circumstances,” said the statement issued Saturday by the grouping of the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union that guides the Middle East peace process. “The Quartet recognized the necessity and legitimacy of these decisions, taken under Palestinian law, and welcomed President Abbas’ stated intention to consult the Palestinian people at the appropriate time.” Abbas sacked Ismail Haniyeh, the P.A. prime minister, after Haniyeh’s terrorist Hamas group routed troops loyal to Abbas’s relatively moderate Fatah Party and assumed control in the Gaza Strip. The members of the Quartet consulted at foreign minister level by conference call on Friday.