President Mahmoud Abbas said today that the Israeli government has rejected the holding of the upcoming Palestinian national elections in occupied East Jerusalem, and therefore affirmed that the elections will not be held without the Israeli-occupied capital, WAFA News Agency reported.
Speaking at the onset of a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah, the President stressed that the issue of occupied Jerusalem is a political and not a technical one and that he called for the leadership meeting to reach out an appropriate decision concerning the fate of the elections, in the aftermath of Israel’s failure to allow vote in the occupied capital.
He said the Palestinian people have the exclusive right to East Jerusalem which they seek as capital of their future independent state, and that the Palestinian people of the occupied capital have the right to vote and run as candidates in the upcoming elections.
“Israel is still determined not to allow elections to take place in Jerusalem, and we, on our part, have repeatedly tried to hold gatherings of representatives and candidates of the electoral blocs [in Jerusalem], but were attacked [by the occupation forces] and barred from holding any activity,” said the President.
He continued, “Today, a message came from Israel and the United States stating: ‘We cannot give you an answer on Jerusalem because we don’t have a government to decide that and we’re busy with the [Israeli] elections.”
“We want the elections to be held in Jerusalem as they are in Ramallah, including the election campaigning, the arrival of candidates, and the freedom of action of the Central Elections Committee. When we suggested that we send the chairman of the CEC, Hanna Nasser, to Jerusalem, the Israelis said we should send a lawyer with him to defend him upon his arrest.”