In a step that could cause Hamas to suffer an election blow, a Palestinian court, on Thursday, canceled some municipal results in the northern Gaza strip city of Beit Lahia.

Such a step could mount tension between Hamas and Fatah over the elections results.

Local observers said, the ruling could tip the balance in Beit Lahia, where Hamas won over Fatah 8 to 7.

The court decision, which annulled Hamas’s victory, will be in effect in five of 42 balloting stations in Beit Lahia due to complaints of irregularities.

This ruling followed a court ruling canceling results in of some stations in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, in which Hamas also defeated Fatah.

In Rafah, results were cancelled in 51 of 141 precincts after irregularities surfaced in voter registration lists.

‘This could change the initial declared results,’ Abu Safiyah of the Supreme Committee for Local Election in Gaza told Reuters, adding that ‘the ruling meant 2,817 eligible voters would have to recast ballots within 10 days.’

On one hand, Hamas, said it accepted the court ruling, however, on the other hand, the movement again accused Fatah leaders of pressuring judges to void results unfavorable to them.

‘We respect the decision by the Palestinian judiciary despite the pain we feel as a result of pressures applied on the parties concerned,’ Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas spokesman and candidate in Beit Lahia, said Thursday.

Fatah officials welcomed the ruling and hoped for a third ruling in the central Gaza Strip.

Fatah officials praised the ruling and awaited a third decision in a central Gaza precinct where initial results also showed a Hamas victory.

Hamas believes those who voted Hamas will not change their minds when they vote again.

‘Let them cancel the results, we will vote to the same one we voted for the first time,’ and old lady in Gaza Strip said.

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