Source AP ©

Abbas to make "important decision"

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah will make an "important decision" on Thursday regarding the fighting in Gaza and the future of Fatah's coalition government with the Islamic militant Hamas, officials at his office said.

They declined to elaborate, but there has been speculation that Abbas would pull Fatah out of the governing coalition. Earlier in the week, Fatah ministers suspended their activities in the government, but stopped short of dismantling the partnership.

Hamas has been steadily routing Fatah in key battles across the Gaza Strip this week, and by Thursday controlled much of the coastal territory.