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Shtayyeh Accuses Netanyahu of Obstructing Palestinian Elections

Shtayyeh Accuses Netanyahu of Obstructing Palestinian Elections

Tuesday, 24 December, 2019 - 12:30
Two Palestinians wearing Santa Claus outfit and protesting the demolition of homes in the West Bank (Reuters)

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh accused on Monday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of seeking to obstruct the scheduled legislative and presidential Palestinian elections.

He said Netanyahu refuses to authorize holding these elections in occupied East Jerusalem.

In his speech during the weekly cabinet meeting, Shtayyeh said his government has requested Israel to allow Arabs from Jerusalem to participate in the upcoming elections.

This request comes in line with the agreements signed since 1993 (Oslo Accords) and as happened in 1996, 2005 and 2006, but Netanyahu still ignores the Palestinian demand.

Netanyahu is “clearly ignoring our request” for no specific reason, stressed Shtayyeh, adding that Israel refuses to see Palestinian legitimacy based on free elections.

For this reason, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas will call for a leadership meeting to discuss the issue in light of Israel's unresponsiveness.

It is noteworthy that Abbas has earlier announced that elections will not be held without Jerusalem’s participation.

A member of the Fatah Central Committee and its spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, issued a statement on Monday emphasizing this position.

He said holding elections in East Jerusalem is not negotiable, adding that no elections will be held without this area.

“Abbas and the Palestinian leadership’s position on Jerusalem and its sanctities’ are what thwarted the Deal of the Century, the state with temporary borders,” noted Abu Rudeineh, pointing out that without Jerusalem, there is no state, peace, or stability for anyone.

Jerusalem has always been, and will remain, the red line for all the Palestinian people, and no one will be allowed to cross it, he added.

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