Flying their trademark green flag on top of the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah – Hamas has swept to victory in the Palestinian legislative elections.
The militant group has defeated the long-ruling Fatah by winning 76 seats against 43 in the 132-seat parliament – an outcome widely expected to trigger a political earthquake in the Middle East.
The celebrations spilled over into violence when Fatah members tried to tear down the Hamas flag. Witnesses said several people were injured, but no one was seriously hurt according to police.
Many fear Hamas’s victory will jeopardise the resumption of stalled peace talks.
One senior leader said the militant group was ready to maintain a ceasefire agreed with Israel last February if Israel did likewise, but added Hamas would respond to any Israeli attack.