RAMALLAH, West Bank, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Hamas officials began their tenure as Palestinian leaders Saturday as a parliament formed in the West Bank and Gaza.
Ismail Haniya was nominated prime minister and Aziz Duaik as speaker of Parliament, the BBC reports.
But Gaza-based members weren't able to travel to Ramallah, the capital of the Palestinian Authority, because of Israeli restrictions. They participated by video feed.
This points to the persistent problem for Hamas since its upset victory over the ruling Fatah Party in elections last month.
Israel, the United States and most of Europe consider Hamas a terrorist organization and demand it renounce violence and accept Israel's right to exist before being granted diplomatic ties.
President Mahmoud Abbas, a Fatah member, wants to create a joint government and is asking Hamas to stick with treaties signed by the Palestinian Authority, which include recognizing Israel.
Hamas officials say the acceptance goes both ways, accusing Israel of violating the rights of the Palestinian people.