For 3rd straight year, Hamas defeats Fatah in student council election

The Hamas-affiliated Islamic Bloc won 25 seats on the council of Bir Zeit University, compared to 22 seats won by the Fatah-backed Shabibah.

May 10, 2017 22:20
Azzam al-Ahmad and Ismail Haniyeh.

Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad (L) and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Hamas defeated Fatah in student council elections at Bir Zeit University, the second-largest university in the West Bank.

Student elections in the Palestinian territories are viewed as important barometers of public opinion, since Hamas and Fatah have not competed against each other in municipal, legislative or presidential elections since the 2006 legislative elections.

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The Hamas-affiliated Islamic Bloc won 25 seats on the council, whereas the Fatahbacked Shabibah garnered 22 seats.

More than 8,000 students voted in the election.

Hamas welcomed its student bloc’s victory.

“Hamas considers the result to be a pledge of allegiance to its resistance plan,” Hamas said in a statement posted on its website.

A number of Fatah leaders did not respond to requests for comment.

Fatah has won a majority of the West Bank student elections this year, including An-Najah University in Nablus, Bethlehem University, and Palestine Technical University- Kadoorie elections.

Hamas boycotted both the Bethlehem University and the Palestine Technical University- Kadoorie elections.

The Palestinian Authority will host municipal elections in the West Bank on Saturday.

However, the elections hold little political significance, as Hamas is boycotting them.

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