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Abbas Urges Merkel to Pressure Israel to Allow Elections in Jerusalem

Abbas Urges Merkel to Pressure Israel to Allow Elections in Jerusalem

Friday, 16 April, 2021 - 07:15
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas give a statement in Berlin, Germany, (File photo: Reuters)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas affirmed that elections will be held in all Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.

Abbas received a phone call from German Chancellor Angela Merkel during which they discussed the recent Palestinian and international developments, in addition to the distinctive relations between the two countries and ways to enhance them.

Merkel expressed her support for holding elections over all Palestinian territories, asserting that Germany would make its contacts and exert efforts in this regard, including the issue of holding elections in East Jerusalem, according to the statement.

The president asked the International Quartet, other countries, and Germany to pressure Israel to agree to hold elections in Jerusalem per the signed agreements and the previous Palestinian elections held in the city.

Palestinian legislative elections are scheduled for May 22nd, but Israel has not responded yet to the EU and PA's request and refuses to allow the entrance of the EU mission to monitor the elections.

Member of Fatah Central Committee Hussein al-Sheikh asserted that the cost of the elections will not lead to conceding Jerusalemites’ rights to participate, reiterating that this matter is non-negotiable.

Recent statements of Sheikh, who is a close aide of Abbas, confirm the rejection of the leadership and Fatah movement to hold elections without Jerusalem.

Hamas and independents reject Abbas’s position that links holding the elections to Israel's approval of the participation of Jerusalemites.

Meanwhile, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Ahmed Majdalani asserted that the Israeli government’s obstruction of the elections in Jerusalem is a consolidation of its annexation policies.

He reiterated that wanting to hold the polls in Jerusalem is not an excuse to escape the elections.

During his meeting with the EU representative in Palestine, Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, Majdalani called for a greater European role in pressuring Israel not to obstruct the elections in East Jerusalem.

"Elections are a serious issue for Palestine, as they are the only way to end the division and achieve unity and political participation," he asserted.

Burgsdorff confirmed that the EU welcomes the efforts to hold the elections, stressing its readiness to provide all necessary support and submit proposals for holding elections in Jerusalem.

He pointed out that the EU continues its contact with the Israeli government to allow the legislative elections to be held in the Palestinian territories.

The EU official also met with a member of the PLO executive committee Azzam al-Ahmad. He told reporters that within the coming days, the EU will intensify its efforts with all concerned parties, including Israel.

Israel refuses to respond to the requests of holding elections in Jerusalem and recently banned electoral events in the city.

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