January 30, 1933 Alert: “Officials: Hamas Wins Palestinian Election,” from AP:
Earlier, Fatah legislator Saeb Erekat said after a meeting with Abbas that the party has already decided to serve in the opposition. “Hamas will be asked to form the new government,” Erekat said. “We in Fatah will not join them. We will be a loyal opposition and rebuild the party.”…
Israel and the United States have said they would not deal with a government led by Hamas, which has carried out dozens of suicide bombings and which they consider a terrorist group.
Acknowledging the Hamas victory, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and his Cabinet ministers resigned Thursday “” hours before official results were released.
“This is the choice of the people. It should be respected,” Qureia said. “If it’s true, then the president should ask Hamas to form a new government.” The Cabinet remained in office in a caretaker capacity.
By law, Abbas must ask the largest party in the new parliament “” presumably Hamas “” to form the new government. Abbas was elected separately a year ago and remains president.
Hamas capitalized on widespread discontent with Fatah’s corruption and ineffectiveness. Much of its campaign focused on internal Palestinian issues, while playing down the conflict with Israel.