Hamas-run Gaza court suspends result of rare free vote that picked rival Fatah as union leader

A Hamas-run court has suspended the results of a rare free union vote in Gaza that ended with a landslide victory by the rival Fatah party.

The decision is the latest setback in Palestinian reconciliation efforts between the bitter rivals.

The April 6 election in the Gaza Bar Association had been seen as a small step toward repairing the rift caused by Hamas' violence takeover of Gaza from Fatah-led forces of President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007.

The ruling followed an appeal from two lawyers who questioned the legality of the vote for the union leader. The results are on hold until May 19.

Last week's court ruling was made public Monday after it was reported by local media.