**funny how bush said you cannot bring peace by bombing a country...when he lied and then bombed one under false pretenses....the american hypocrisy has been alive for centuries......


Fatah official: 'We have lost the elections; Hamas has won'

RAMALLAH, West Bank (CNN) -- The Islamic fundamentalist group Hamas, which has said it favors the destruction of Israel, won an apparent victory in Palestinian legislative elections, officials said Thursday, reshaping the political landscape of the Middle East.

"We have lost the elections; Hamas has won," said Saeb Erakat, a Palestinian lawmaker with the ruling Fatah Party. He said Fatah, which has held power since the creation of the Palestinian Authority, will now be the opposition.

During a White House news conference Thursday, President Bush -- whose Middle East policy includes support for emerging democracies -- said he would not deal with Hamas unless it renounced terrorism. (Watch Bush face tough questioning -- 5:37)

"We don't have a government yet, so you're asking me to speculate on what the government will look like," Bush told reporters. "I have made it very clear, however, that a political party that articulates the destruction of Israel as part of its platform is a party with which we will not deal."

"I don't see how you can be a partner in peace if you advocate the destruction of a country as part of your platform."

Although official results are not expected until 7 p.m. (noon ET), Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has already accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei, Erakat said Thursday. The Fatah-led Palestinian Authority Cabinet also has resigned.

"We would hope [Abbas] would stay in office and work to move the process forward," Bush said, acknowledging that the election appeared to "open the eyes" of the Palestinian "old guard."

"Obviously, people were not happy with the status quo," Bush said.

"The people are demanding honest government. The people want services. They want to be able to raise their children in an environment in which they can get a decent education and they can find health care."

"It's a wake-up call to the leadership," Bush said, many of whom are holdovers from the days of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Shots and scuffles
In the West Bank, Hamas and Fatah supporters scuffled Thursday outside the Palestinian parliament building when Hamas supporters attempted to raise the green Hamas flag.

Shots were fired into the air, observers said. The scuffle came as thousands of Palestinians celebrated the election results in Ramallah and Gaza.

A Hamas victory will mark the first opportunity for the group -- which the United States and Israel consider to be a terrorist organization -- to run a government. Hamas has operated a successful network of charities and schools in Gaza. (What is Hamas?)

Erakat said Abbas will soon ask Hamas to form a new government.

"Fatah will not take part in any national unity government," said Erakat. "Fatah will try to redefine itself." (Reaction to vote)

Hamas leaders claimed the group had won a sweeping victory with between 68 and 72 seats in the 132-seat Palestinian Legislative Council.

"It's the choice of the people and it should be respected," Qorei said. "I think, if the majority is approved and has been reached, I think Hamas should form a new government, it's true. The president should ask Hamas to form a new government.

"For me personally, I sent my resignation to the president to enable him to choose a new prime minister," Qorei said.

Olmert: 'Will not negotiate'
Acting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel could not accept a situation in which Hamas in its current configuration -- committed to the destruction of Israel -- was a part of the Palestinian Authority.

"I will not negotiate with a government that does not meet its most basic obligations -- to fight terrorism. We are prepared to assist the Palestinians and [Palestinian President Abbas] very much but they must meet their commitments," Olmert said, according to a statement released by his office.

The European Union, meanwhile, said it was prepared to work with any government -- to a point.

"We are prepared to work with any Palestinian government, if this government seeks peace, using peaceful means," said Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU external relations commissioner.

Hamas, which boycotted the last election in 1996, capitalized on widespread dissatisfaction with what is seen as corruption within the Palestinian Authority and Fatah, and a perceived inability by the authority to manage the affairs of the Palestinians.

Fatah was formed in 1965 by Arafat, who died in November 2004, and dominated Palestinian politics for decades as the mainstream Palestinian nationalist movement.

"Mostly, they were voting for opposition and voting against Fatah -- against corruption, against nepotism, against the failure of the peace process, and against the lack of leadership," said Mustafa Barghouti with the Palestinian National Initiative, a democratic opposition movement.

He said Wednesday "was a great day for Palestine. This is the best democratic practice ever in the Arab world." (Watch Gaza residents talk about why election day is so important -- 2:32)

Hamas' military wing, Izzedine al Qassam, has carried out terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians as well as attacks against the Israeli military.

Turnout near 78 percent
Election officials estimated about 77.7 percent of the eligible 1.3 million voters turned out to cast their ballots at more than 1,000 polling stations. Voting closed around 7 p.m. (noon ET) in Gaza and the West Bank, and it was extended in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem for two hours to accommodate heavy turnout. (Watch how preliminary results divide up seats -- 3:05)

Among those who joined the voters were Abbas and Mahmoud Zahar, the leader of Hamas. Militant Palestinian groups had agreed to a cease-fire during the voting, and there were no reports of major violence.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Nasser al-Kidwa told CNN: "It's a happy day. There is no doubt about that. And I think that the Palestinian people are generally happy because of this." (Read how the vote demonstrates Palestinians' will to flex their political muscle)

CNN's John Vause, Guy Raz and Ben Wedeman contributed to this report.
Original Post
When first heard this, I envisioned a takeover of the Israeli Parliment. Sharon rising from his bed. Bush suddenly resolving the 'Iraq Prolem'. And bin Laden raising a flag over his new headquarters.

Then I realized it's the Palestinian Parliment.

Big Whoop.

Different strokes. Same folks.

They just carry their guns and bombs in the open.

PEACE

Jim Chester
When I heard this story this morning, I was struck by a thought ... Hamas is the Palistinian equivalent to the Black Panther Party of the late 60's'early 70's.

Just as the Panther Party was protrayed by the media as a radical violent organization, the truth has it that Hamas' primary function is the provision of food, shelter and social services to Palistinian people without regard to whether the beneficiaries support their anti-zionist agenda.

Sure, Hamas has members that blow stuff up; but Israel promotes bull-dozing housing with people in it. And, I may be mistaken here, but I don't recall a single incident in the 2000's where Hamas has been tied as an organization to a terrorist act.
Yes, the press that this story is getting lets me know one thing, the Israeli government and this government are shook up about something. Maybe they will begin to reap some of what they've sown?
quote:
He said Wednesday "was a great day for Palestine. This is the best democratic practice ever in the Arab world."

Hamas' military wing, Izzedine al Qassam, has carried out terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians as well as attacks against the Israeli military.



Well... that's done then. Roll Eyes
Sure, Hamas has members that blow stuff up; but Israel promotes bull-dozing housing with people in it. And, I may be mistaken here, but I don't recall a single incident in the 2000's where Hamas has been tied as an organization to a terrorist act.---K4R

Sharon and Arafat were patriots to their respective causes.

Fatah and Hamas are organizations with the same goal.

Hamas wasn't willing to talk when it was out of power.

Now we shall see in fairly short order where their game is.

I am guessing it won't be much different. They will profess peace until they don't get their way.

Wiping out Israel.

Same game. Different name.

Sharon. Arafat. The New Guy.

Who's the terrorist???


PEACE

Jim Chester
quote:
Just as the Panther Party was protrayed by the media as a radical violent organization, the truth has it that Hamas' primary function is the provision of food, shelter and social services to Palistinian people without regard to whether the beneficiaries support their anti-zionist agenda.

Sure, Hamas has members that blow stuff up; but Israel promotes bull-dozing housing with people in it. And, I may be mistaken here, but I don't recall a single incident in the 2000's where Hamas has been tied as an organization to a terrorist act.



Lord please help this Kneegrow.

First - I support the Palestinean's RIGHT TO SELF DETERMINATION. Hamas, just like the Sunni's in Iraq have been told to engage in the poltical process rather than violent actions to get their way. Some people played this election victory as a "loss" for the USA and Israel. This couldn't be further from the truth.

Second - the media did a report on a Hamas lady who was elected though she had no previous political experience. She sent 3 of her 5 sons to their deaths as suicide bombs or assassins of Israelis. To may this showed her loyalties to the cause and her election was the payback. Unfortunately when and if the people have important issues such as obtaining clean water sources and yet this woman only has her "I hate Israel" rhetoric to bring to the table - they will realize that a broader spectrum is needed for them to move forward.

I hope that there is a reduction in violence in this region. More jobs and more focus on real economic development will all some of the resentment to be reduced. Those who are benefiting from this new economic growth will seek to protect what they have built and will be less inclined toward radicalism.

Most of the other countries in the Middle East are experiencing booming economic growth. It is time that this particular region disengage a bit from the war of attrition and focus on building themselves up internally.
I read the papers this morning in my local area and the headlines are catchy.

Here's one from the New York Post:
"HAMASTAN: Mideast vote creates terror state"

Here's another from the NY Daily News:
"HAMAS WINS, PEACE LOSES" and "TERROR TRIUMPHS"

This is definite media bias. Pro-Israeli media bias. The Palestinian people voted these folks into office. That's democracy and the US is still against it. Either the government wants democracy in the Middle East OR they just want the appearance of Democracy. I believe its the latter.
quote:
Originally posted by Yemaya:
I read the papers this morning in my local area and the headlines are catchy.

Here's one from the New York Post:
"HAMASTAN: Mideast vote creates terror state"

Here's another from the NY Daily News:
"HAMAS WINS, PEACE LOSES" and "TERROR TRIUMPHS"

This is definite media bias. Pro-Israeli media bias. The Palestinian people voted these folks into office. That's democracy and the US is still against it. Either the government wants democracy in the Middle East OR they just want the appearance of Democracy. I believe its the latter.


Don't you know? Didn't you get the memo? Eek

It's only DEMOCRACY if Republicans or right-wing people who support American corporate/social interest are elected. If anyone else is elected, it's Liberal/Socialist/Communist/Progressive Tyranny or Pro-Terrorism.

Duh, everyone knows that. Only Republicans and right-wingers know what's best for people. bow

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