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Last Updated: Friday, 27 January 2006, 16:27 GMT
In quotes: Reaction to Palestinian poll
Supporters of the radical Islamist movement Hamas celebrate the group's apparent victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections
Hamas supporters have been celebrating victory
World leaders have been reacting to the victory of the militant Islamic group Hamas in the Palestinian parliamentary elections.

Hamas took 76 out of the 132 seats in the poll, beating Mr Abbas' ruling Fatah faction.

Below is a selection of regional and international reaction.

US

EHUD OLMERT, Acting Israeli Prime Minister

The state of Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian administration if even part of it is an armed terrorist organisation calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.

BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, leader of Israeli opposition party Likud

Today, Hamastan was formed, a representative of Iran and in the image of the Taleban.

SHIMON PERES, Israel's Kadima party

I think it is first of all a problem for the Palestinian people, not for Israel because Hamas is for a unilateral war not for a unilateral peace or withdrawal.

We shall not change our position. If Hamas doesn't want peace, doesn't want negotiations, if they want to continue their terrorist activities I don't think they will have any support from outside or from Israel.

GEORGE W BUSH, US President

The United States does not support a political party that wants to destroy our ally Israel. People must renounce that part of their platform. A political party that articulates the destruction of Israel as part of its platform is a party with which we will not deal.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, US Secretary of State

You cannot have one foot in politics and another in terror. Our position on Hamas has therefore not changed.

AMR MOUSSA, Arab League Secretary General

The US can't promote democracy but then reject the results of this democracy.

KOFI ANNAN, UN Secretary General

Any group that wishes to participate in the democratic process should ultimately disarm because to carry weapons and participate in a democratic process and sit in parliament, there is a fundamental contradiction and I'm sure they [Hamas] are thinking about that too.

SAMI ABU-ZUHRI, Hamas spokesman in Gaza

We have no enmity toward any Western country. Our enmity is only toward the occupation, which stole our land, displaced our people, and continues to kill us.

MAHMOUD ABBAS, Palestinian President

I am committed to implementing the programme on which you [the Palestinian people] elected me a year ago. It is a programme based on negotiations and peaceful settlement with Israel.

SAEB EREKAT, Palestinian chief negotiator and Fatah member

Today we woke up and the sky was a different colour. We have entered a new era.

MUSTAFA BARGHOUTI, Independent Palestine Movement chief

If Hamas forms the cabinet alone this will lead to a severe political crisis. If Fatah forms a government that will be opposed by a strong majority of the council, this will paralyse Fatah completely.

So I think there is a moment of truth here, and people have chosen and they have to meet the results of what they've chosen.

TONY BLAIR, UK Prime Minister

It is important for Hamas to understand that there comes a point - and that point is now following that strong showing - where they have to decide between a path of democracy or a path of violence.

JAVIER SOLANA, EU foreign policy chief

The European Union has supported the smooth running of these elections. We await confirmation of the results.

These results may confront us with an entirely new situation, which will need to be analysed by [EU foreign ministers] next Monday.

DOMINIQUE DE VILLEPIN, French Prime Minister

We are faced with a situation which prompts me to express my concern. What I hope is that the essential conditions for working with a Palestinian government - whatever it may be - can be met.

First, the renunciation of violence and agreeing to move forward according to the peace objectives that have been fixed.

And second, recognition of the state of Israel and international agreements.

SILVIO BERLUSCONI, Italian Prime Minister

If the news is true, it would be very, very negative, unfortunately.

Everything that we have hoped for regarding peace between Israel and Palestine would be put back to who knows when.

HAMID REZA ASEFI, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman

Iran... hopes that the powerful presence of Hamas at the scene brings about great achievements for the Palestinian nation.

HAMID KARZAI, Afghan President

Statements not accepting Israel, demanding the extinction of Israel do not help the Palestinian people, do not help the peace process.

HASSAN WIRAYUDA, Indonesian Foreign Minister

We hope and also urge the new government from the Palestinian election to continue efforts for dialogue and negotiations.




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