Hundreds of Fatah supporters fled Hamas-controlled Gaza on Saturday as President Mahmoud Abbas sacked the Palestinian government and appointed an emergency Prime Minister and cabinet. Since the fall of Gaza to Hamas, the prospect of open civil war between the Fatah and Hamas factions has become more likely.
Hamas remains defiant and new prime minister Salam Fayad and his emergency cabinet will begin trying to impose their authority in the Palestinian territories over the coming days.
President Mahmoud Abbas has said he is determined to stand firm.
Hamas’s leader Ismail Haniyeh has ruled out setting up a separate Palestinian state in Gaza, despite being sacked from government.
But he has made it clear he won’t recognise Fayad.
Defeated Fatah fighters have been venting their fury in Ramallah the West Bank. The situation remains volatile and there are fears of renewed clashes.
Abbas’s administration will be hoping that diplomatic and financial support from abroad will help bring some stability.