Abbas urges EU to pressure Israel on PA elections

PA chairman says that the PA has urged the EU to pressure Israel to allow Palestinian elections to be held in eastern Jerusalem.

Elad Benari ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Reuters

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday said that the PA has urged the European Union (EU) to pressure Israel to allow Palestinian elections to be held in eastern Jerusalem.

Speaking at the opening of his ruling Fatah party's central committee meeting in Ramallah and quoted by Xinhua, Abbas said once again that there would be no general elections if the Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem are excluded.

The PA has contacted different friends, including the EU, to pressure Israel to allow Palestinian elections in the city, he added.

"We are waiting for an answer from the Israeli government, and we have contacted some of our friends, especially the EU to pressure Israel to accept holding the elections as it had accepted in 1996, 2005 and 2006," Abbas said.

Abbas recently renewed a pledge to hold fresh parliamentary elections in the PA, which have not been held since 2006 when Hamas won an overwhelming majority.

Last week the PA chairman made clear that the elections will not take place if Israel does not allow Palestinian Arabs living in eastern Jerusalem to vote.

Hussein Al-Sheikh, the PA “minister of general authority of civil affairs”, later said the PA had sent an official request to Israel, asking it to allow the Palestinian residents of eastern Jerusalem to take part in the upcoming Palestinian parliamentary and presidential elections.

On Monday, PA cabinet leader Mohammad Shtayyeh said the PA is awaiting the Israeli response to its request.

Abbas' term as PA chairman was meant to expire in 2009, but he has remained in office in the absence of elections.

His Fatah faction declared last month that the 84-year-old will be its “sole candidate” in the election.




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