Palestinian policemen guard outside the Palestinian legislative council in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Jan. 16, 2021.
Palestinian policemen guard the Palestinian legislative council in Ramallah
Photo: Reuters
Palestinian policemen guard the Palestinian legislative council in Ramallah

Palestinians urge EU to send monitors for May/July polls

Prime Minister Shtayyeh specifically seeks EU monitors in East Jerusalem, where he is demanding Israel allow residents to vote in the first election the PA has held since 2006

AFP |
Published: 01.18.21 , 21:37
The Palestinian prime minister on Monday called on the European Union to send observers to elections scheduled for later this year, specifically requesting EU monitors in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.
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  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed a decree on Friday setting legislative elections for May 22 and a presidential vote on July 31, in what would be the first Palestinian polls in 15 years.
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    Palestinian policemen guard outside the Palestinian legislative council in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Jan. 16, 2021.
    Palestinian policemen guard outside the Palestinian legislative council in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Jan. 16, 2021.
    Palestinian policemen guard the Palestinian legislative council in Ramallah
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Ahead of a weekly cabinet meeting, prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh called on the EU "to prepare a team of international observers to help us, mainly in the election process in Jerusalem".
    Israel annexed east Jerusalem following the 1967 Six-Day War in a move never recognized by most of the international community, which considers the area occupied Palestinian territory.
    There has been no indication that Israel would allow Palestinian election activity within east Jerusalem.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh at his office in Ramallah, June 27, 2019
    Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh at his office in Ramallah, June 27, 2019
    Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh
    (Photo: Reuters)
    "We will formally ask Israel to allow our people in Jerusalem to participate in the elections," Shtayyeh stressed.
    Brussels on Friday said it welcomed Abbas's election call and urged Israel to "facilitate the holding of these elections throughout the Palestinian territory", including east Jerusalem.
    The Palestinian polls have been scheduled amid warming ties between Abbas's Fatah party, with controls the PA, and their long-standing rivals Hamas, the Islamist terror group that holds power in Gaza.
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    Members of the Hamas military wing in Gaza
    Members of the Hamas military wing in Gaza
    Hamas militants marching in Gaza City
    (Photo: EPA)
    The 2005 Palestinian presidential vote saw Abbas elected with 62 percent support to replace the late Yasser Arafat.
    In the last Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006, Hamas won an unexpected landslide.
    The polls resulted in a brief unity government but it soon collapsed and in 2007, bloody clashes erupted in the Gaza Strip between the two principal Palestinian factions, with Hamas ultimately seizing control of Gaza.
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