The Tiny Minority of Extremists has won the Palestinian elections, which in itself is not actually a demonstration that the jihad ideology enjoys broader support among Muslims than most analysts would like to admit, since Fatah itself was not exactly an epitome of opposition to that ideology. As Hugh Fitzgerald pointed out yesterday, this was a choice between the slow jihad against Israel and the faster variety. “Palestinian Premier, Cabinet Resigns,” from AP:
RAMALLAH, West Bank – Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and his Cabinet ministers submitted their resignations Thursday as the Islamic militant group Hamas appeared to have captured a large majority of seats in the Palestinian elections “” a shocking upset sure to throw Mideast peacemaking into turmoil.
“This is the choice of the people. It should be respected,” Qureia said. “If it’s true (the results), then the president should ask Hamas to form a new government. For me, personally, I sent my resignation.”
Under the law, Abbas must ask the largest party in the new parliament “” presumably Hamas “” to form the next government. Abbas was elected separately a year ago and remains president.
Hamas said before the election it does not want to govern alone, and would prefer to bring Fatah into a coalition. Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar said Thursday that the group will declare its intentions after official results are announced later in the day.
The result could have a devastating effect on the peace process with Israel. Mushir al-Masri, a senior Hamas official, said Thursday that recognizing Israel and negotiations with the Jewish state are “not on our agenda.”
Israel and the United States have said they would not deal with a Hamas-led Palestinian government. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has said he would step down if he could no longer pursue his peace agenda with Israel.