The Islamic bloc affiliated with Hamas has won the Bir Zeit University student council election, defeating their Fatah-backed rivals. The Hamas-backed bloc won 25 seats with 4,481 votes, while the Fatah-supported bloc claimed just 20 seats with 3,539 votes. The leftist students’ bloc gained 942 votes, winning six seats. The Bir Zeit University elections have become a barometer of change in Palestinian public political opinion, with Fatah and Hamas fighting fiercely and spending tens of thousands of dollars to fund electoral campaigns despite the financial crisis. The university is the only place in the West Bank that allows Hamas to promote its activities and politics without restrictions from the Palestinian Authority.