הפגנה ב רמאללה
Palestinians protest postponement of the elections in Ramallah
Photo: AFP
PA President Mahmoud Abbas during Thursday's speech

Abbas: Palestinians to hold elections if Israel approves Jerusalem voting

PA president tells Palestine Liberation Organization meeting that Israel told him they could not agree to holding elections in East Jerusalem since the current government is interim and cannot make decision of this magnitude

Ynet, AFP |
Published: 04.29.21, 22:14
Palestinian elections can take place only when Israel approves voting in East Jerusalem, President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday.
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  • Palestinian leaders were set to decide Thursday whether to hold the first parliamentary elections in 15 years next month as scheduled or call a delay that could trigger further frustration in a divided society which last voted in 2006.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    יושבים בית קפה ברמאללה צופים בנאום של אבו מאזן
    יושבים בית קפה ברמאללה צופים בנאום של אבו מאזן
    PA President Mahmoud Abbas during Thursday's speech
    (Photo: Reuters)
    "If Israel said it agreed to the elections in Jerusalem, they would take place, we would have campaigned, and whoever won, won," Abbas told a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was set to decide whether the first Palestinian vote in 15 votes would be postponed.
    "We want elections in Jerusalem the same way we want them in Ramallah. With full election propaganda in the Holy City. We made it clear that we would not go to the polls without Jerusalem," said Abbas, adding that East Jerusalem is "the eternal capital" of Palestine.
    An official announcement of the postponement of the elections has not yet been published.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    הפגנה ב רמאללה
    הפגנה ב רמאללה
    Palestinians protest postponement of the elections in Ramallah
    (Photo: AFP)
    As expected, Abbas made Jerusalem the focus of his speech, including the recent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces in the city. He also claimed Israel urged the settlers "to keep calling for the 'death of all Arabs'."
    Abbas also criticized the European Union and the United States, and implicitly criticized Arab countries, as he sought to justify his reasons for the delay.
    Local media reports quoted Abbas as saying that Israel told by the U.S. and several Arab states that the government could not agree to the elections being held in Jerusalem as it was an interim government and therefore not authorized to make such decisions.
    The Palestinian president reportedly dismissed this as "nonsense."
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    סינוואר ועוודאללה
    סינוואר ועוודאללה
    Hamas leadership in Gaza
    Abbas' opponents, led by Hamas, believe that the issue of voting in East Jerusalem is an excuse to cancel the elections due to Fatah's fear of its multiple lists of candidates losing to the terror group, which is running on a single unified list.
    Hamas said Wednesday that it would hold Israel accountable for the decision to delay the elections. "No Palestinian can accept holding elections without Jerusalem," the group said.
    According to Haaretz newspaper, deputy Fatah leader Mahmoud al-Alul told Palestinian radio that agreeing to elections without the vote being held in Jerusalem was tantamount to ceding any claim on the city as the capital of a future state.
    "It won't be written in history books that we gave up on Jerusalem," the paper quoted al-Alul as saying.

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