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FROM THIS EPISODE

After decades in power, the late Yasser Arafat's Fatah party has been ousted by Palestinian voters. Hamas, dedicated to the destruction of Israel, will now form a new government. Hamas won 76 of 132 seats in parliament; Fatah, the losing party of President Mahmoud Abbas, won just 43. At the White House today, President Bush called it "healthy" evidence of democracy in the Middle East, but said the US will not deal with an armed political group that advocates violence. Is Hamas prepared for the burdens of government? Can it end lawlessness and disorder in the West Bank and Gaza? Will it renounce terrorism and become an acceptable partner for peace? We answer these questions and talk about the spread of democracy and the rise of political Islam.

President Bush's press conference

Palestinian Survey Research on Palestinian elections

Weisman's article on Bush response to Hamas victory

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