Hamas seeks Turkish supervision of PA election

Hamas leader calls on President Erdogan to pressure Israel to allow elections to PA parliament to take place in eastern Jerusalem.

Dalit Halevi ,

Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh
Wissam Nassar/Flash 90

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday sent a letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In the letter, Haniyeh expressed his appreciation for Turkey’s support for the Palestinian people and updated the Turkish leader on the results of talks held by representatives of Palestinian Arab organizations on holding general elections for representative institutions.

Haniyeh further noted that the Hamas movement is determined to take part in the elections to the Palestinian parliament, the presidency and the Palestinian National Council, which is the parliament of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

He asked President Erdogan to act in a timely manner to ensure freedom of vote in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip, and to pressure Israel to refrain from placing obstacles in the way of the elections and to allow elections in "occupied Jerusalem."

In addition, Haniyeh expressed his desire for Turkey to take part in supervising the elections and to work with the international community to ensure their results will be respected.

PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas recently issued a decree ordering general elections in PA-assigned territories.

The decree states that legislative elections will take place on May 22. A “presidential” election will take place on July 31. It sets a deadline of August 31 for establishing the Palestinian National Council.

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

No PA elections have taken place since 2006 and similar initiatives in the past have failed to result in elections.

Hamas enjoys a close relationship with Turkey, where it operates out of Istanbul.

On Monday it was revealed that in recent months, the Israel Security Agency uncovered a route via which terror funds were transferred from Hamas' headquarters in Turkey via a company based in Damascus, to Hamas activists within Israel's borders.

Following the discovery, Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed orders to confiscate $121,000 which had been passed between commercial companies from Hamas in Turkey to Hamas activists in Judea and Samaria.