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Women Play Role in Hamas Strength at Polls

Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip head to the polls Wednesday in parliamentary elections that could reshape the Palestinian political landscape. Polls show the Islamist Hamas group gaining ground against the ruling Fatah movement. Hamas' popularity has grown, in part, because of its network of charities and the increasingly prominent role of its female candidates, who are reaching out to conservative Palestinian women.

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Eric Westervelt is a San Francisco-based correspondent for NPR's National Desk. He has reported on major events for the network from wars and revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa to historic wildfires and terrorist attacks in the U.S.