Palestinian Factions Threaten Election Suspension Unless East Jerusalem Participates
i24 News – Just as it seemed that the first Palestinian elections in some 15 years would take place, several factions — including that of ruling Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party — warned they would not take place unless East Jerusalem residents can participate.
“There will be no Palestinian elections without Jerusalem, and Israel possesses no veto to this,” the Palestinian factions said in a joint statement following a meeting to discuss the subject, reported the Times of Israel.
“The election process must become a state of confrontation and comprehensive popular resistance in Jerusalem and all the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967,” the PLO factions added.
However, Palestinian civil society activists maintained that the Palestinian leadership’s threat to delay or cancel the vote, using Jerusalem as an excuse, was the wrong move.
Palestinian officials hinted over the past few weeks that the elections would be called off if Jerusalem’s Arab residents, who hold Israeli-issued ID cards, are excluded, according to the Jerusalem Post. They demanded, in addition, that Israel allow Arab residents to cast their ballots in the city, and not in areas located outside the Jerusalem Municipality boundaries.
Israel has yet to officially announce its position vis-a-vis the participation of Jerusalem residents in the Palestinian elections.
“The factions called on the parties of the international community, including the United Nations, the European Union, Russia, China … to pressure Israel, the occupying authority, not to put obstacles or stumbling blocks in the path of the elections,” the PLO factions said.