Hamas captures landslide parliamentary win
Updated: 2006-01-27 06:07
Hamas won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections
as Palestinian voters rejected the longtime rule of the corruption-ridden Fatah
Party, according to nearly complete official returns Thursday.
The triumph by the Islamic militant group plunged the future of Mideast
peacemaking into turmoil, with Israel saying it would not negotiate with a
Palestinian government that includes members of Hamas.
shout slogans during a rally celebrating the results of the Palestinian
parliamentary election in the West Bank city of Nablus January 26, 2006.
Palestinian leaders, stunned by the militant group's sweeping victory,
huddled to determine the shape of a new government as world leaders, including
President Bush, insisted Hamas renounce violence and recognize Israel's right to
Supporters of the two main parties briefly scuffled in Ramallah after Hamas
supporters raised their party's green flag over the parliament. The two sides
threw stones at each other, breaking windows in the building, as a small group
of Fatah supporters tried to lower the banner. The crowd of about 3,000 Hamas
backers cheered and whistled as activists on the roof raised the flag again.
Hamas won 76 seats in the 132-member parliament, while Fatah, which
controlled Palestinian politics for four decades, won 43 seats, said Hanna
Nasser, head of the Central Election commission. The 13 remaining seats went to
several smaller parties and independents.
The result was based on a count of 95 percent of the vote and still could
change slightly, Nasser said.
Hamas won 60.3 percent of the vote, said Ismail Haniyeh, one of the group's
In his first remarks since the election, acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud
Olmert said Israel won't negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes
"The state of Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian administration if
even part of it is an armed terrorist organization calling for the destruction
of the state of Israel," said Olmert's statement, issued after a three-hour
emergency Cabinet meeting.