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Fatah Beats Hamas in West Bank Municipal Elections

  • VOA News

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' ruling Fatah party has successfully defended a political challenge from the militant group Hamas, with a victory in West Bank municipal elections. Election commission official Jamal Shobaki issued final results on Saturday showing Mr. Abbas' Fatah movement won control of 51 local councils, while Hamas won only 13. The remaining 40 went to other factions and coalitions. Voter turnout was 84 percent in Thursday's third round of voting. A final round is expected in December, and will include more West Bank towns, as well as some in the Gaza Strip -- where Hamas could have a significantly better showing. Hamas downplayed the results, telling Reuters only a small number of voters participated. Hamas also said it had made progress despite Israeli raids in the last week that saw the arrest of hundreds of its members, including 17 election candidates.
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