Hamas Signals Challenge to Unseat Arafat

(AP/Newsday) Hamas published newspaper ads urging supporters to vote in upcoming municipal elections, saying "it's time for change." And top Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar indicated the group might try to unseat Arafat in presidential elections, which have not yet been scheduled. Hamas, which has carried out dozens of suicide bombings in Israel, is committed to the destruction of the Jewish state. In a sign of Palestinian weariness, a recent opinion poll by An-Najah University found that two-thirds of Palestinians support a cease-fire with Israel. "The uprising has not been defeated, but it has not brought victory. Frankly, it is now closer to defeat than victory," commentator Hani al-Masri wrote in the Palestinian daily Al Ayyam.

2004-09-29 00:00:00

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