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Presidential Compound in Gaza Under Hamas Control


The Palestinian group Hamas says its fighters have taken over President Mahmoud Abbas' compound in the Gaza Strip, which Hamas says was the last stronghold in the area of its rival faction, Fatah.

Hamas radio announced the takeover of the Gaza City compound late Thursday.

Mr. Abbas was in the West Bank at the time, which is still controlled by his Fatah group.

The Palestinian president said he has dismissed Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a member of Hamas. Mr. Haniyeh shrugged off Mr. Abbas' action as a "hasty" decision, and said on Palestinian television Friday that his unity government will continue working for the Palestinian people as best it can.

Fierce fighting between Hamas and Fatah in recent days has killed at least 90 people.

On Thursday, Hamas fighters overwhelmed Fatah forces and tightened their grip on the Gaza Strip. At least 30 people died in the fighting, and police say about 100 armed members of Fatah crossed into Egypt at one point to escape Hamas' military campaign.

Fatah's armed wing, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, says it has killed a Hamas member, Anis Salous, in retaliation for the execution of a leading Fatah militant in Gaza. The armed wing of Hamas had called the militant, Samih al-Madhoun, a collaborator with Israel.

Fatah and Hamas formed their unity government in March in a bid to stop factional violence.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP and AFP.

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