UN demands Israel permit PA election to take place in Jerusalem

UN calls on Israel to permit all eligible Palestinian Arabs residing in eastern Jerusalem to vote in next month's elections.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

United Nations
United Nations

The United Nations and European members of the Security Council are calling on Israel to permit all eligible Palestinian Arabs residing in eastern Jerusalem to be able vote in the Palestinian Authority (PA) legislative elections scheduled to take place next month.

The call came on Thursday following the Security Council's monthly session on the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict.

"It is very important that Palestinians in all parts of the occupied Palestinian territory are able to participate in this very important democratic process," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, according to the AFP news agency.

Dujarric was echoing a statement issued by Security Council members Estonia, France and Ireland, and former members Germany and Belgium.

"We stand ready to support free, fair and inclusive elections across the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including east Jerusalem, and welcome the constructive engagement by the Palestinian factions," they said.

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.

On Wednesday, a senior PA official said he believes there is a “90% chance” that the elections will be postponed.

On Thursday, a Hamas official warned that any postponement of the elections would deal a heavy blow to efforts to reconcile between Hamas and Fatah.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)