Palestinian sources said Hamas and Islamic Jihad boycotted student
council elections in Palestinian universities throughout the West Bank. The
sources said Hamas and Jihad cited the Palestinian Authority crackdown on
the Islamic movements, including the arrest of student leaders.
"Every time Hamas and Jihad run openly for elections, their student
leaders are arrested," a Palestinian source said.
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As a result, Fatah has been winning student elections. In April, Fatah
captured the student council at Bethlehem University, long a stronghold of
Hamas. Fatah won 18 seats in a contest limited to the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of
Earlier, Fatah won elections in another Hamas stronghold, Bir Zeit
University near Ramallah. Fatah student leaders have been aligned with
sponsors in the PA.