Abbas: There will be no elections without eastern Jerusalem

PA chairman clarifies the PA is adamant on having Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem vote in next month's elections.

Elad Benari ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Flash 90

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas clarified on Sunday evening that the PA is adamant on having Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem vote in the elections that are scheduled for next month.

"We will not agree to hold the general election without the residents of Jerusalem," Abbas said at a meeting of the Fatah Central Committee.

He urged the international community to pressure the Israeli government to meet its obligations regarding the PA election process and added, "We congratulate the residents [of eastern Jerusalem] for standing up to Israel's plans to take over the city."

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.

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

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