State Department spokesman:
'Palestinian elections are ultimately a matter for the Palestinian people'

State Department spokesman responds to presence of convicted terrorists in Fatah election slate.

Elad Benari ,

US State Department
US State Department

State Department spokesman Ned Price on Thursday commented on the presence of convicted terrorists and their family members on the election slate of the Fatah party, headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

“We note that the US and other key partners in the international community have long been clear about the importance of participants in that democratic process, renouncing violence and renouncing terrorism, recognizing Israel’s right to exist,” Price told a press briefing.

He added, however, “But Palestinian elections are ultimately a matter for the Palestinian people to decide.”

Fatah has placed the wife of the terrorist responsible for the murder of Shalhevet Pass in second place on its list in the PA parliamentary elections.

In 10th place on the official Fatah list is a convicted terrorist from Jenin who murdered Israeli citizen Motti Bitton in the early 1990s and was released in a "peace gesture" to Abbas in 2013.

In 15th place is a convicted terrorist from the Hebron area, who had been sentenced to life in prison before being released in the Jibril Agreement, only to be arrested again and sentenced to 15 years during the Second Intifada.

A separate slate running in the election is headed by Marwan Barghouti, a terrorist serving several life sentences in Israel.

Barghouti is serving several life sentences in Israel for his role in planning terrorist attacks against Israelis.

He is widely believed to have planned the Second Intifada, which claimed thousands of Israeli lives from 2000 to 2005. Barghouti has continued inciting to terrorism from his jail cell.