A major development in Middle East politics, from the Washington Post:
The radical Islamic group Hamas won 76 seats in voting for the first Palestinian parliament in a decade, election officials announced Thursday evening, giving it a huge majority in the 132-member body and the right to form the next government. The long-ruling Fatah movement won 43 seats.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and the rest of his Cabinet resigned, effectively acknowledging Hamas claims of a legislative majority before election officials released the results in a news conference...The Hamas victory ends end the governing Fatah party's decade-long control of the Palestinian Authority. It also severely complicates Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' policy of pursuing negotiations with Israel under a U.S.-backed peace plan known as the roadmap, which conflicts with Hamas' platform in several key respects. Hamas officials in Gaza City, where their victory was greatest, said the group has no plans to negotiate with Israel or recognize Israel's right to exist. Europe, Israel and the United States classify Hamas, formally known as the Islamic Resistance Movement, as a terrorist organization.
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