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Israel Warns Hamas Activists in West Bank against Running in Elections

Israel Warns Hamas Activists in West Bank against Running in Elections

Friday, 5 March, 2021 - 09:45
A Palestinian member of the Central Elections Commission displays an information leaflet following the opening of the first Voter Information and Registration Center in Gaza City ahead of polls due later this year. (AFP)

Israeli intelligence is warning Hamas activists in the West Bank against running in the Palestinian Legislative Council elections, scheduled for May 22.

Activists have received warnings from Israeli soldiers, who delivered the message to their doorsteps, while others were asked to report at Shin Bet stations for interrogation.

Israel’s Haaretz documented threats to at least ten individuals. The Shin Bet refused to comment on the report.

The warnings were made amid a wave of arrests by Israeli forces against Hamas activists.

One of the detainees, Fazaa Sawafta, had announced that he was seeking to run in the elections, alongside former members of the Legislative Council, activists and university students.

Hamas said the arrests aim at discouraging the youth from running in the polls and were attempts by Israel to influence their results. The youths make up the majority of the population.

The movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, had recently warned that it has the means to prevent Israel from meddling in the elections, which are being held for the first time in 16 years.

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