International reaction to the 25 January Palestinian legislative elections, the first since 1996:
ACTING ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER EHUD OLMERT
I hope that after elections results are in, and after our election results are in, that I will able to enter into negotiations with Abbas... on a final status agreement between us and the Palestinians.
ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER TZIPI LIVNI
The elections were meant to give power and strength to dismantle the [militant] organisations and not create a situation where those organisations sit in the parliament and then become part of the executive authority.
ISRAELI LIKUD PARTY LEADER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU
Sooner or later [Hamas] will be in the hills over Tel Aviv airport and terrorism could again be a monumental threat to Israel.
ISRAELI NATIONAL RELIGIOUS PARTY MP EFFIE EITAM
It's beyond any shade of doubt that Ehud Olmert is dividing Jerusalem [by allowing Palestinian residents to vote].
Bear in mind that, [if] there were elections in Washington for al-Qaeda, would any American administration, would any American citizen accept that?
US EMBASSY IN TEL AVIV SPOKESMAN STEWART TUTTLE
As a matter of policy, we don't deal with Hamas. If Hamas members win seats... we are not going to deal with those individuals.
EU EXTERNAL RELATIONS COMMISSIONER BENITA-FERRERO WALDNER
I hope that these elections will... bring two leaderships that are ready and able to inject new vigour into this peace process.
BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR
It's very difficult for us to be in a position of negotiating or talking to Hamas unless there's a very clear renunciation of terrorism.
FORMER US PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER, HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS
The US government is prepared to continue dealing with the Palestinian Authority with Hamas members in the parliament.
If Hamas becomes part of the executive branch that is, if it holds portfolios, then the Americans, the way I understand it, will preclude the United States doing business with the Palestinian Authority. So we do not know what choices will be made by the Palestinians.
HEAD OF EU OBSERVER MISSION VERONIQUE DE KEYSER
The Palestinians have given us a lesson [in] democracy in the sense that to have such elections with pluralism, so many parties here, in [such a] difficult situation, it's a good lesson.
Now I really hope that everything will be quiet, not only today, but at the announcement of the results. And after that we will see but really I hope the Palestinians [get] the peace and democracy they deserve.