Hamas has won a majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council by taking 76 of the 132 seats, a clear majority. Palestinians have rejected the ten year rule of the Fatah Party, known for its corruption and inability to bring stable government to Palestine. Fatah took 43 seats. Ahmed Qureia, the Prime Minister, has already resigned.
Voter turnout was 77 percent.
Now the game begins. Will Hamas remain the terrorist organization determined to destroy Israel, or will they govern the country in peace? Hamas has traditionally not recognized Israel as a legitimate country and Israel has refused to enter into talks with them as long as they maintain that stance. I’m not sure how you are able to not recognize the country that surrounds most of yours, but Hamas does not. However, the Palestinian Authority has to liaise Israeli officials to deal with issues such as water and power supplies.
The Palestinian Authority is the government of the area in which the Palestinians live and was created by the Oslo Accords, an international agreement, which states that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians should be resolved by peaceful means only.
President George W. Bush has fired the opening salvo by saying the U.S. will not deal with Hamas unless it rescinds its commitment to the destruction of Israel.
The vote is being touted as a reaction to the corruption of Fatah. President Bush said ``Obviously people were not happy with the status quo,'' and that Palestinians wanted ``honest government'' along with improvements in education, health care and other public services. Senator Joseph Biden, who has been in Ramallah, said "My impression is that those who are voting for Hamas are doing so because of the corruption and inefficiency of the PA and not as a vote against the peace process."
That may all be true, but Hamas has imposed Taliban like rule in the areas in which it operates. Things may well have taken a turn for the worse in the Middle East.