Landslide Win For Hamas in Gaza

Unofficial results in Gaza local elections award Hamas terrorists two-thirds of the seats and give them a giant card for them to play in gaining concessions from the PA's ruling Fatah party.

, | updated: 10:55

Fatah is the dominant party in the Palestinian Authority, which recently held presidential elections won by Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), although there were allegations of fraud. In the Gaza elections, Fatah won only 26 out of 117 seats while Hamas won 76, according to preliminary reports, which Fatah discounted.

An Arab survey center's exit polls gave Hamas victory in three of four districts in Gaza. Hamas also showed strength in the recent elections in Samaria in which it won more than a third of local council seats. Thursday's voter turnout in the first-ever Gaza elections was more than 80 per cent,

Hamas supporters paraded with victory chants in the streets of Rafiah, which borders Egypt and has been a major point of transfer of weapons from Egypt through an extensive tunnel system. The elections were in smaller towns and not in Rafiah or Gaza City, which are expected to take place in three months.

A significant Hamas victory was in the Bet Hanoun area in northern Gaza where terrorists have launched dozens of Kassam rockets against Israel. Fatah apparently won in a central Gaza town next to the Jewish community of Netzarim.

The apparent victory for Hamas spells trouble for Abu Mazen, who has been trying to convince the terrorist organization to halt all attacks against Israelis. Hamas has agreed to a "cooling-down" period only on the condition that Israel frees Arab prisoners.