Hamas has once again earned a political and moral victory in elections for the Students’ Association at Birzeit University, the more important university in the West Bank.
Birzeit is located in Ramallah, the center of power for the Fatah movement and the Palestinian Authority. The Hamas faction won 25 seats against just four that went to Fatah.
Hamas’ new political chief Ismail Haniyeh said that the election results at Birzeit were “a new expression of the students’ loyalty to the option of resistance and the Hamas movement.” Haniyeh added that, “This victory proves that all the attempts to diminish and exclude the Hamas movement have been unsuccessful.”
The leaders of Fatah’s youth movement called for an examination to explain the loss. The leaders attributed the loss to a lack of unity within the movement rather than to the election campaign.
Hamas sought to pour more salt on the wound and aired a video on one of their media agencies showing Palestinians near Ramallah celebrating Hamas’ victory in the elections.
— وكالة شهاب (@ShehabAgency) May 11, 2017
Arab social media users also addressed Fatah’s loss. Abdulla Saafin took advantage of the election results to criticize those who supporter continued negotiations, writing, “Hamas won in the Birzeit student elections. Did the Oslo Accord people get the message?”
Fareed Qassem addressed the conspiracy that the IDF arrested Hamas students in order to harm their election campaign, writing, “Despite the occupation arresting the heads of the student faction of Hamas on the eve of elections, the party won the elections at Birzeit University, the university of the martyrs.”
بالرغم من اعتقال الاحتلال قادة الكتلة الإسلامية عشية الانتخابات .. الكتلة الإسلامية تحرز المركز الأول في #انتخابات_بيرزيت .. جامعة الشهداء !
— Fareed H. Qasem (@Fareed_Qasem) May 10, 2017
Social media user Mahmoud Sabah wrote, “The intelligence and preparedness of the students in Birzeit won. This is a generation that understands the circumstances of this period in time well.”
تتفوق العقول الناضجة الواعية في جامعة بيرزيت
جيل يعي جيدا ضروف المرحلة #الكتله_خيارنا
— محمود صباح#غزة (@me0599) May 10, 2017
Another internet surfer wrote, “The situation is difficult for Fatah people; they wanted to grow in Birzeit and boost their president’s moral, but instead they’ve fallen on their faces.”
— ✌عاشق الحرية#الخليل✌ (@memoopl) May 10, 2017
A woman on Twitter wrote, “The liberation begins from the university.”
نبارك الفوز الساحق الكتلة الاسلامية في جامعة بيرزيت في المجالس العلمية
من الجامعة يبدأ التحرير
— رح مة بوكاري (@Rahma_Boukari) May 10, 2017
Saher Abou Dgeim criticized Fatah and the PA and hinted at their responsibility for the electricity crisis in Gaza, writing, “It may be that now they’ll cut off electricity from Birzeit University. lol”
معقول الكهرباا تصير تقطع على جامعة بيرزيت هههه#ساهر
— ساهر أبو دغيم (@2557757_saher) May 11, 2017
Another woman, Hadeel, wrote that “Hamas’ victory in the elections at Birzeit University reveal the depth of the anachronism of Fatah and the PA.”
فوز كتلة حماس الطلابية بانتخابات جامعة بيرزيت، يكشف مدى عورة السلطة وترهل حركة فتح
— Hadeel B. wadi (@hadeel_bashir) May 11, 2017
Another social media user, seemingly a Fatah supporter, wrote, “And then they say that there’s not democracy in the West Bank. If there is democracy in the Arab world, it’s only in the West Bank and Lebanon.”
وبيجي واحد بقلك مافي بالضفه ديمقراطيه
اصلا الديمقراطيه في كل الوطن العربي ما بتلاقيها الا بالضفه ولبنان#جامعة_بيرزيت
— طارق ولد علي (@alsanoory) May 11, 2017