Initial results for Saturday's local elections in the West Bank showed that the ruling Fatah faction won many municipalities and local councils, but it was not a landslide victory as its leaders had expected.

Still, Fatah officials described the results as a "huge victory," saying it showed their faction continues to enjoy the backing of a majority of Palestinians.

The officials also said that they consider the election results as a vote of confidence for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his policies.

Hamas, Fatah's main rival, boycotted the elections and banned the PA from holding the vote in the Gaza Strip.

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