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Voter Turnout Heavy in Palestinian Elections

Supporters of the Palestinian ruling Fatah movement celebrate in Gaza City, Jan. 25.
Mahmud Hams
/
AFP/Getty Images
Supporters of the Palestinian ruling Fatah movement celebrate in Gaza City, Jan. 25.

Voter turnout was heavy as Palestinians went to the polls in Gaza and the West Bank to elect a new parliament, the first in a decade. After a hard-fought campaign, unofficial exit polls show the ruling Fatah movement winning more than 40 percent of the vote, with the Islamist group Hamas garnering more than 30 percent. Western and Arab election observers say voting went relatively smoothly, with only minor scuffles and few violations reported.

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Eric Westervelt is a San Francisco-based correspondent for NPR's National Desk. He has reported on major events for the network from wars and revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa to historic wildfires and terrorist attacks in the U.S.