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Hamas-Fatah clashes in Gaza 2006. Preview of a bigger coming attraction.

Hamas Wins An Election – January 25, 2006 – Past Daily Reference Room

Hamas-Fatah clashes in Gaza 2006. Preview of a bigger coming attraction.

Hamas-Fatah clashes in Gaza 2006. Preview of a bigger coming attraction.

Click on the link here for Audio Player – BBC News – Palestinian Elections – CBS News – Condoleeza Rice Interview – Jan 25-27, 2006 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

Eight years ago, things changed in Gaza. Hamas, an organization labeled by many governments as a terrorist organization decided to don political attire and go after a popular election. In what was termed a “landslide victory” the Hamas candidates took a sweeping majority of Parliament, rendering the Fatah-based ruling government largely moot.

Since Hamas was pledged to violent overthrow of the Israeli government, many wondered if this signaled a new and dangerous change in the Middle-East game plan. Hamas offered assurances they were going for change and that the ruling Fatah party, formerly headed by Yassar Arafat, was corrupt and ineffectual. The Palestinian people wanted change, but many in Gaza felt the change Hamas brought to the table would offer anything but peace.

Violent clashes broke out between Hamas and Fatah supporters. At one point, it was rumored Mahmoud Abbas had asked Israel for an intervention. But the change took place and the future of the Middle East was now in doubt.

That election, which took place on January 25th, 2006 was closely observed by many around the world, particularly those in Britain, Russia and America.

To give you some idea of the atmosphere, here are several reports from BBC Radio and an interview with then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with her observations on the election outcome.

Everybody took a “wait-and-see” approach.

Here are those reports as they happened in 2006.

And don’t forget (not a real good start, you will admit):

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