Thursday, January 26, 2006

Palestinian PM resigns as Hamas heads to shock victory

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei has announced his resignation, saying Hamas must form the next government following the parliamentary elections.

It comes as the militant Islamic group appeared to be heading for a shock win. With counting still under way, officials from the ruling Fatah party said Hamas had won a majority. Official results are due at 1900 local time.

Israel, the US and the EU consider Hamas a terrorist group and have said they do not want to deal with it.

"I am going to present my resignation to President Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] and Hamas should form the [new] government," Mr Qurei told journalists, according to AFP news agency.

Hours before official results were due to be released, Fatah officials conceded that Hamas had won the elections. Hamas claimed it had won at least 70 seats in the 132-member parliament.

The BBC's Jon Leyne in Jerusalem says a victory for Hamas would present a huge challenge for Israel and the international community and for Hamas itself. He says many believe the militant movement would be more comfortable as the major opposition party rather than having power thrust on it at the first attempt.

With victory looming, senior Hamas official Mushir al-Masri said the group wanted to work with Fatah in a "political partnership". But he said Hamas would not hold peace talks with Israel.

"Negotiations with Israel is not on our agenda," he said.

"Recognising Israel is not on the agenda either now."

Source : BBC Previous post : Here

Here we go ... Hamas are democratically elected it seems and they are the choice of the Palestinian people. Israel has every right to security and Hamas has every right to represent the people that have voted for them in such huge numbers.

So what now ?

Just like Iran it seems you get extreme governments out of extreme situations. If there is to be any sign of peace some serious banging of heads is going to need to happen. Hamas must recognise Israel at least enough to talk to them and Israel must recognize that Hamas have been democratically elected and have every right to speak for the Palestinian people.

Hard though it will be for both sides they will have to find some way forward if they ever desire peace for their children and their children's children.


Blogger Voice 1 said...

Seems to me H that you summed the situation up perfectly, some banging together of heads, and acknowledging each other.

January 26, 2006 12:42 pm  
Blogger DJEB said...

Hamas never had that much political support in the past, but I can't help notice that they reversed their position on the right of Israel to exist right before the election...

January 26, 2006 2:15 pm  
Blogger Mea said...

I agree with the commentary on the original post...

What should also prove interesting are the relations between Abbas and Hamas.

January 26, 2006 6:37 pm  
Blogger DJEB said...

What's really, really interesting is the origins of Hamas and who supported them at the time. Irony is alive and well and living in U.S. and Israeli foreign policy.

January 27, 2006 11:14 am  
Blogger rush said...

It is almost deliciously ironic though isn't it? when there is so much talk of instilling democracy in the middle east and so on, and when a democratic election does happen (and a free and fair one, as free and fair as an election gets i suppose..), a "recognized" terrorist outfit gets a democratic mandate! if this happens, and lets say it happens in say myanmar (hypothetically) that the junta gets elected in a free democracy, should we turn a blind eye to previous behaviour, now that their rule has a public mandate? is the purpose of any external agency looking to (again hypothetically) work for the benefit of the citizens of a particular country merely to support democracy or does it stretch further? and if it does, what is the difference between a benevolent friend and an imperialist?

January 29, 2006 12:04 am  

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