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Palestinian Factions, Fatah Refuse to Hold Elections without Jerusalem

Palestinian Factions, Fatah Refuse to Hold Elections without Jerusalem

Monday, 5 April, 2021 - 07:45
An electoral worker leaves the Palestinian Central Elections Commission's office in Gaza City (Reuters)

Palestinian factions announced their support to the Fatah movement which refused to hold elections if Israel did not allow them in Jerusalem.

Member of Fatah Central Committee Hussein al-Sheikh asserted that the elections will take place, adding that Jerusalem is a major issue and “we will not sell Jerusalem for the sake of the elections.”

Sheikh told local radio that Fatah sent an official letter to Israel over two months ago, requesting permission to hold elections in East Jerusalem in accordance with the signed agreements. However, they haven't received an answer till this moment.

He asserted that the decision to hold the elections is purely Palestinian, and no one is allowed to interfere, reiterating that there won’t be elections without Jerusalem, otherwise it is “a recognition of the deal of the century, with Jerusalem as capital of Israel.”

He announced that Fatah is preparing for a single and unified national position of all Palestinian organizations and factions that confirms holding elections in all the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.

The Secretary-General of the Palestine Liberation Front, Wasel Abu Yousef, said that holding elections in Jerusalem is of special importance, in light of the occupation’s attempts to exclude it and enforce the “deal of the century.”

Abu Yusef, who is also a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, told Voice of Palestine radio that it is not acceptable to exclude Jerusalem from the elections.

Member of the People’s Party politburo, Walid al-Awad, warned that it is not permissible to remove the city from the electoral process under any pretext, stressing that this issue is non-negotiable.

He called on the international community to pressure the occupation to prevent disrupting the elections.

On Saturday, Hamas politburo member Mohammad Nazzal said that Hamas is against postponing the elections on the pretext that they will not be allowed in Jerusalem, calling for finding suitable alternatives to hold them in a way that does not disrupt the process.

The issue of holding elections in Jerusalem remains controversial and raises concerns about canceling the long-awaited polls.

Concern began to grow among Europeans and Palestinians after Israel refused to allow the EU’s election observation missions (EUEOMS) into Palestine.

EU media official in Jerusalem Shadi Othman confirmed that Israel still hasn’t allowed the EU mission into Palestine to monitor the upcoming legislative elections.

Othman asserted that the EU supports holding elections in all Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, to achieve a fair, transparent, and democratic process.

He urged Israel not to obstruct the process, adding that the EU believes that the agreements signed between the Israelis and the Palestinians stipulate that elections should be held in East Jerusalem.

Palestinian legislative elections are set to be held on May 22nd.

The Central Elections Commissions (CEC) announced that 36 electoral lists have submitted applications for nomination, saying it has completed the applications of all lists without rejecting any.

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