Strong Hamas showing expected in local Palestinian elections

Thursday, May 05, 2005 | 
Palestinians are voting for local governments in dozens of towns and villages in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. The elections are expected to give a boost to the Islamic terrorist group Hamas ahead of parliamentary elections in July. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is concerned that his ruling Fatah party, which is widely seen as corrupt, will be routed by Hamas in the summer elections. That would be a blow to the peace process because Hamas seeks the destruction of Israel. Abbas proposed giving Cabinet positions to Hamas terror chiefs in exchange for postponing the elections, but smelling victory, Hamas refused.

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