Hamas takes victory in Gaza elections

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Hamas, a radical islamist party, has won by a large majority in the Gaza Strip council elections held last month. Hamas won 75 out of the 118 seats, with Fatah, the party of Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas only managing to secure 39 seats. Of the ten council areas in Gaza, Hamas has control of seven.

Fathiya Barghouti Rheime, a 30-year-old high school teacher, and mother of two, was one of the seven Hamas mayors elected in the Gaza strip. She has become the second female mayor of a Palestinian community, and the first ever elected one. "It's a sign of change," she said "I'm deeply concerned about transmitting the picture of the active Islamic woman to the world, to wipe away the blemish of the veil."

In the West Bank, Female candidates won 52 of 306 seats. Two and a half times the number of seats that had been reserved for women.