Preliminary results from Thursday's municipal elections in the West Bank show the mainstream Fatah party in the lead, despite a strong showing by the radical Hamas movement.
Friday's unofficial and partial results showed Fatah with a majority of seats in 11 city councils, and Hamas as gaining control of seven others. Official results from all 26 localities involved in the ballot are expected Saturday. Similar elections are set to take place in stages in other Palestinian areas, and the voting is largely seen as a test of popularity between Fatah and Hamas.
The radical Islamic movement has already said it will not participate in next month's presidential elections. Fatah candidate and Former Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas leads that race.