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Israel, West Concerned by Apparent Hamas Victory


Israel and Western nations are expressing concern over Hamas' apparent victory in Palestinian parliamentary elections and warning they will not deal with the militant group unless it abandons violence.

Israel's acting prime minister, Ehud Olmert, is discussing the development with senior cabinet officials. He has said Israel will not work with a Hamas-led government.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan says any group that participates in a democratic process should disarm.

Britain also called on Hamas to reject violence and acknowledge Israel's right to exist. Other European countries, including France, have expressed concern over Hamas' apparent election victory.

And a spokesman for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called to stress that the Bush administration will continue to support Mr. Abbas and his policies.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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