Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stressed that he would not hold elections if the people of Jerusalem could not vote in “the heart of the city but only in its suburbs... whatever the pressure that will be exerted on us.”
During a meeting of Fatah Movement’s Revolutionary Council on Wednesday evening, Abbas said: “We will never allow and accept that pressure comes from here or there. Our decision is clear. Without elections in Jerusalem, elections will not be held. ”
Abbas’ words appear to be aimed mainly at the Hamas movement, which is pressing him to issue a presidential decree for the elections, regardless of Israel’s position on holding them in Jerusalem.
The Palestinian president has yet to issue the relevant presidential decree, pending the Israeli position. This has constituted a point of dispute with Hamas, which attacked Abbas and considered that linking the decree to the issue of Jerusalem would threaten the holding of the elections.
Hamas Political Bureau Member Moussa Abu Marzouq said that the president’s decision to postpone the presidential decree pending the Israeli position “means in practice that this decree may never be issued.” Officials in the movement said that it was possible to find mechanisms to overcome the Israeli rejection.
However, the Palestinian Authority insists that Jerusalemites cast their votes in the city’s Post offices, as was the case in previous times.
The PA has directly addressed Israel, the United Nations, the European Union, and other countries to allow the holding of elections in Jerusalem, as in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The Israeli security and political mini-cabinet should resolve this controversy through a final decision in a forthcoming session. Abbas confirmed that Israel had not yet responded to the Palestinian request.