Hamas outlawed, alternative Palestinian government formed

Sunday, June 17, 2007 |  by Staff Writer  

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday outlawed the “armed wings” of the Hamas movement and swore in an emergency interim government to replace that headed by the popularly elected Islamic terrorist organization.

Abbas' presidential decree against membership in Hamas militias extended to the official “Executive Force” paramilitary police force established by Hamas following its landslide electoral victory more than a year ago.

According to the decree, anyone suspected of belonging to a Hamas armed group will be prosecuted and punished.

Meanwhile, former Palestinian Authority finance minister Salam Fayyad officially stepped into his new role as prime minister of an emergency government declared by Abbas at the weekend.

Fayyad, an independent candidate respected by both Hamas and Abbas' Fatah, promised to work for renewed Palestinian unity and for a sense of security in the Gaza Strip, which Hamas militarily conquered over the past 48 hours.

Hamas officials rejected Abbas' decision to dissolve the government headed by the terror group, effectively dividing the Palestinian-controlled territories in Gaza and the “West Bank” into two separately administered entities.

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