RealNews

A Political Opening for Hamas

Messages spray-painted by the Palestinian militant group Hamas adorn the walls on both sides of Palestine Street. Along one wall, the mural shows heavily armed combatants and declares that suicide bombers pave the road to liberation. On the other side of the street, the graffiti read: “Hamas to the people: Your vote counts! Don’t waste it!” The death of Yasser Arafat on Thursday has given Hamas and other radical Islamic groups here a golden opportunity to join the political mainstream and reach levels of government previously hard to imagine. Hamas, which was already planning on fielding candidates for local offices in upcoming municipal elections, is contemplating entering the race for a new Palestinian legislature. Although it probably would not make a run for the presidency, Hamas has demanded a share in the transitional regime, alongside Arafat’s Fatah party and other mostly secular factions, that will lead the Palestinians until the elections are held. Full Story

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