The New Arab Staff
Palestinains want Jerusalemites to participate [Getty]
Date of publication: 13 April, 2021
Palestinian political factions on Monday unanimously agreed that no elections will take place without Jerusalemites taking part.
Palestinian political factions on Monday unanimously agreed that no election will take place without East Jerusalem residents participating, amid concerns Israel might try to block voting in the occupied areas.
During a meeting held in Ramallah to discuss the upcoming general elections, the factions reiterated East Jerusalem’s Palestinian status and said Israel has no right to prevent Jerusalemites from voting in upcoming elections.
The parties also called on the international community – including the UN, EU, China, Russia – to urge Israel not to “put obstacles in the way of holding elections in all stages across the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, the capital of the Palestinian state”, according to a statement on the Wafa news agency.
The statement urged all parties to encourage voting participation “as part of a comprehensive popular resistance across the pre-1967 occupied territories”.
It also called for Palestinian unity “for the sake of the electoral battle and all the legitimate national rights for freedom and independence in accordance with the laws and resolutions of international legitimacy”.
Prior to the 2006 Palestinian elections, Israeli officials tried to obstruct voting in East Jerusalem, which was illegally annexed by Israel in 1967 and is under Israeli civil and military control.
Unofficial estimates indicate that around 340,000 Palestinians live in occupied Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces arrested Hamas members across the occupied West Bank on Monday.
Hamas member Mustafa Shawer, Palestinian Legislative Council member Omar al-Qawasmi, and Anas Rasras were among those detained during the Monday raids, an anonymous source told Anadolu Agency.
Palestine will head to the polls for the first time in 15 years this summer. The legislative elections will take place on 22 May and a presidential vote on 31 July.
It is currently unclear whether the votes will take place.