RealNews

In Politics, Hamas Gains in the West Bank

Bilal Swaleh’s journey from prisoner to politician began years ago in an Israeli jail cell. It ended triumphantly last month at the ballot box in this city populated by citrus growers, living along a wall separating the West Bank and Israel. A butcher by trade, Swaleh was among the candidates affiliated with the militant Islamic movement Hamas who won all 15 municipal council seats. The victory placed Qalqilyah at the leading edge of a shift in Palestinian politics that is bringing some of Israel’s most ardent enemies into public office. Seven of the new council members have served time in Israeli prisons. The newly elected mayor is still behind bars. Full Story

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