Abbas reiterates: No elections without eastern Jerusalem

PA chairman responds to reports that Israel will ignore his request to permit elections in eastern Jerusalem.

Elad Benari ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday reiterated that there will be no general election unless Israel allows them to take place in eastern Jerusalem.

Abbas’ comments followed reports in Israeli media that Israel has decided to ignore and not respond to a letter sent by the PA demanding that residents of eastern Jerusalem be allowed to participate in the planned elections.

"We won't hold any elections without having Jerusalem as part of it," Abbas told his Fatah Movement's Advisory Council meeting, according to the Xinhua news agency.

"Any resident of Jerusalem must go to vote in the heart of East Jerusalem," he added.

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.

However, the PA has chairman stressed that issuing a decree for holding elections is dependent on whether they could be held also in eastern Jerusalem.

Abbas' insistence on holding election in eastern Jerusalem is actually a challenge to US President Donald Trump's declaration at the end of 2017 that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Hamas this past week urged Abbas to issue the decree and in that way force Israel to permit the election to be held in eastern Jerusalem as well.