Thursday, May 19, 2005
British may re-engage Hamas, Hizbullah
The British rethink has been forced by the success of Hamas in municipal elections in the West Bank and Gaza on May 5, where it took control of 30 of the 84 municipal councils. It could take about 30% of the seats in the parliamentary elections, tentatively scheduled for July 17, and, in theory, join the Palestinian Authority.
The popularity of Hamas, a hardline Islamist group, is partly because it is seen as free of corruption, in contrast with the ruling Fatah organisation.
Hizbullah is to contest the Lebanese election, scheduled for May 29. It is closely linked with Iran, and fought Israel in southern Lebanon, forcing its army to pull out in 2000.
Ewen McAskill, The Guardian
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