Abbas dissolves National Security Council

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah dissolved the National Security Council on Monday, in a further bid to weaken the rival Hamas movement. The council was formed as part of the governing alliance Hamas and Fatah established in March, in a bid to restore law and order in the chaotic Palestinian areas. Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, deposed by Abbas last week, was appointed deputy council chairman under the Palestinian president. But disputes over control of the powerful security forces were never resolved, and the council never met. Last week, the internal strife between Hamas and Fatah degenerated into civil war, and Hamas took over the Gaza Strip.