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Abbas Gets International Support After Hamas Takes Control of Gaza


World powers and neighboring Arab states are voicing support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after Islamic militants of Hamas routed his Fatah forces and took control of the Gaza Strip.

The Mideast Quartet of peace mediators - the United States, European Union, Russia and the United Nations - offered "full support" for Mr. Abbas, and expressed concern about the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

In Gaza Friday, there was looting of Fatah facilities such as the presidential compound and the former security headquarters as Hamas fighters consolidated their control. More than 110 Palestinians were killed in the week of fighting.

Mr. Abbas, who is in the West Bank, appointed former Finance Minister Salam Fayyad as the new prime minister -- after dismissing Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas.

But Mr. Haniyeh has ignored his dismissal and said his government will continue to exercise its duties. He called for calm and unity among Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Egypt's government has condemned Hamas for seizing control of Gaza and undermining what it called legitimate Palestinian institutions.

Jordan added its voice of support for Mr. Abbas, amid fears of instability spreading to the West Bank, where Fatah remains in control.

After emergency talks in Cairo, Arab foreign ministers condemned "the criminal acts committed in Gaza" and called for a return to the situation before the factional fighting. The Arab ministers stressed support for both President Abbas and for the elected Palestinian legislature, which is dominated by Hamas.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, who lives in Syria, said his group still recognizes Mr. Abbas as Palestinian president and is ready to work with him "in the national interest."

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

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