Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Tulkarm, nr. Hebron (occupying 1 house as an observation post), and in Bethlehem, Nablus. (IMEMC 1/25; PCHR 1/26, 2/2)

PA legislative elections are held. Hamas’s Change and Reform party wins a surprise majority, taking 74 seats. Fatah wins 45 seats, PFLP’s Martyr Abu Ali Mustafa wins 3, Independent Palestine wins 2, Third Way wins 2, Alternative wins 2; and independent candidates allied with Hamas win 4 seats. Hamas says it will meet with Abbas, as head of Fatah, and the smaller parties in several days to discuss formation of a unity government. (CSM, IMEMC, JT 1/25; AP, BBC, CSM, DS, HA, JAZ, NYT, PCHR, REU, WP, WT, XIN, YA 1/26; AP, CSM, DS, Financial Times, JT, JTA, NYT, WP, WT 1/27; al-Ayyam, VOI 1/27 in WNC 1/28; XIN 1/29; NYT, Palestine Center press release 1/30; see also Palestine Center information brief no. 125 12/14)