Palestinians Hold Local Elections in West Bank

Election Fever Hits as Hamas Boycotts Vote

Election Fever: West Bank towns are plastered with posters as Palestinians prepare to vote in local elections.
getty images
Election Fever: West Bank towns are plastered with posters as Palestinians prepare to vote in local elections.

By Reuters

Published October 18, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

Hamas shot to prominence in the last local vote in 2005, unexpectedly taking control of many municipal councils in both the West Bank and Gaza. It went on the next year to sweep legislative elections, to the shock of the Fatah old guard.

The Islamists seized control of Gaza after a civil war in 2007, splitting the Palestinians both politically and geographically. They have refused to take part in Saturday’s vote, accusing Fatah of harassing their West Bank members.

Israel pulled out of Gaza in 2005, but maintains a tight blockade on the enclave. The Israeli military remains in charge of the West Bank, allowing the Palestinians limited self-rule in certain areas, including the major urban centres.

The continued divide between Hamas and Fatah has proved a source of upset and anger for ordinary Palestinians, who fear it undermines their fight for an independent state.

“I don’t understand how we can have elections in just half the territory,” said Neda Ahmad, a young woman walking through central Ramallah. “I don’t even know who’s running.”

With Hamas not standing, analysts say the best way to measure support for the party will be to look at voter turnout. Last time around, turnout was estimated at some 80 percent, so a sharp fall-off would show Hamas voters had stayed at home.

Whatever the turnout, pro-Western Fatah could still lose what should have been an easy victory.

It is being challenged by an array of independent candidates, including the West Bank’s first all-female political party which is standing in the city of Hebron. It also faces well-known Fatah dissidents, who have put themselves forward after failing to book a berth on the official party lists.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.