Hamas demands elections in Jerusalem

Deputy Hamas leader says Palestinian people have a right to hold parliamentary elections in eastern Jerusalem.

Dalit Halevi ,

Eastern Jerusalem
Eastern Jerusalem
Israel Police

Saleh al-Aruri, the deputy leader of Hamas, said on Monday that the Palestinian parliamentary elections should take place in eastern Jerusalem and should not depend on the approval of the Israeli "occupation."

In an interview with Hamas' Al-Aqsa TV, Aruri said that the Hamas movement was ready to run in the elections in eastern Jerusalem through a comprehensive national mobilization to fight the "occupation."

Aruri expressed his appreciation for the decision of the Palestinian Election Commission that automatically recognizes every Arab resident of Jerusalem as registered in the voter register.

A comprehensive national consensus regarding the elections in eastern Jerusalem is the surest way to bring about the "enemy’s" withdrawal from its opposition to holding elections in the city, he said.

Aruri warned against a decision to postpone the election for fear that it would deepen the rift in the Palestinian arena.

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.

The PA has continuously demanded that Israel permit Arabs residing in eastern Jerusalem to vote in the elections. In this regard, PA officials have been working in the international arena in an attempt to get Israel to agree to this demand.

The PA has in the past used Israel’s refusal to permit Jerusalem Arabs to vote as an excuse not to hold elections at all.