The Associated Press
May 8, 2008 - 5:32pm

Hebron University officials say Fatah has won student council elections in a former Hamas stronghold.

Fatah activists loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas won 21 seats Wednesday, compared to 20 for Hamas. Fatah supporters honked car horns and fired guns in the air when the results were announced. Islamists controlled the university's student council since 1986.

University elections are an important gauge of opinion. Since the violent Hamas takeover of Gaza last year, Fatah has been trying to prevent a repeat in the West Bank. Hebron is traditionally a Hamas stronghold.

Last month, Fatah also retook the student council of Bir Zeit, the West Bank's most prestigious university.


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