NYTimes 1/26RAMALLAH, West Bank, Jan. 25 — Hamas, the militant Islamic party sworn to the destruction of Israel, won a large share of votes in the first Palestinian legislative elections in a decade, depriving the more secular Fatah party of its longstanding monopoly on power, surveys of voters leaving the polls indicated Wednesday.
US President George W Bush also said Washington would not deal with members of Hamas, even if they ended up in positions of responsibility, unless the group renounced a desire to destroy Israel.
"A political party, in order to be viable, is one that professes peace, in my judgment," he said in an interview for the Wall Street Journal.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said: "We do not deal with Hamas. Hamas is a terrorist organisation. Under current circumstances, I don't see any change in that."
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