A Palestinian man arrives to cast his ballot during the municipal elections in the village of Yatta, south of the West Bank city of Hebron on May 13, 2017. / AFP / HAZEM BADER
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party was ahead in most of the West Bank's main cities after municipal elections that highlighted persistent divisions with its rival Hamas, results showed Sunday.Voting took place Saturday only in the occupied West Bank, controlled by Fatah, and not in the Gaza Strip, which is run by the Hamas movement.The West Bank and Gaza have not participated in an election together since 2006, when Hamas swept Palestinian parliamentary polls, sparking a conflict that nearly led to civil war in Gaza the following year.Escalating tensions between Hamas and the more moderate Fatah led to Hamas' seizure of Gaza in 2007, while Abbas' party was left with control of the West Bank, occupied by Israel for 50 years.
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