PA official: Jerusalem is an essential part of our faith

Deputy Fatah leader: Holding elections in Jerusalem is a "political and sovereign issue not a technical or procedural issue".

Dalit Halevi ,

Al-Aqsa Mosque
Al-Aqsa Mosque
Flash 90

Mahmoud Al-Aloul, deputy leader of the Fatah movement, said on Wednesday that holding the elections to the Palestinian parliament without eastern Jerusalem would be a "betrayal and crime".

In a radio interview, Aloul claimed that Israel, which is the "occupying authority", has thus far refused to provide any answer regarding the holding of elections in eastern Jerusalem as demanded by the Palestinian Authority.

He stressed that holding elections in the "occupied capital" of the Palestinian people is a "political and sovereign issue not a technical or procedural issue" and also involves the "religious and spiritual dimension."

"As far as we are concerned, Jerusalem is not just a geographical location, but an essential part of our faith," said Aloul.

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.

Its leadership is expected to convene on Thursday to discuss whether to postpone the elections.

Hamas opposes any postponement of the election process. Last week, a Hamas official warned that any postponement of the elections would deal a heavy blow to efforts to reconcile between Hamas and Fatah.