The Islamic Militant Group Hamas has claimed victory in Wednesday's Palestinian legislative elections. The claim has yet to be independently confirmed by the Palestinian electoral commission which is expected to issue official results later Thursday.

The Hamas victory claim comes from Ismail Haniyeh a senior Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip. Mr. Haniyeh says Hamas activists who observed the vote counting say Hamas has won more than 70 seats in the 132-seat legislature.

Palestinian electoral officials have not confirmed the results, but an unnamed official from the Palestinian Authority says the results so far show Hamas winning.

Official preliminary results are expected to be released later Thursday.

Israel, the United States and the European Union say they will not deal with any Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless the group disarms and agrees to recognize Israel, something Hamas officials say they will not do.