Exit polls released Thursday showed the Islamic Hamas sweeping local elections in two key places - Nablus and El Bireh - indicating its growing strength before January parliamentary voting.
The exit polls, conducted by Palestinian survey expert Khalil Shekaki, showed Hamas winning 68 percent of the vote in Nablus, the largest city in the West Bank, and 53 percent in El Bireh, which is next to Ramallah, the administrative capital of the West Bank. Up to now, Fatah, the party of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, as been dominant in the two places.
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