Riyad Al-Maliki, the Palestinian Authority (PA) “foreign "minister”, is working in the international arena to mobilize support for the Palestinian Arabs' demand for elections to the Palestinian parliament to be held in eastern Jerusalem as well.
A message in this spirit was included in letters sent by Maliki to the foreign ministers of the member states of the Quartet and the UN Secretary General. The letters state that eastern Jerusalem is “occupied Palestinian territory” and that the decree issued by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas regarding elections also applies in this area.
Maliki also outlined in his letter the steps taken so far to conduct the election, and the efforts of the PA’s General Election Commission to update the voter registration and approve the lists of candidates running in the election.
Maliki emphasized the importance of holding elections, especially in eastern Jerusalem, in accordance with international law and the agreements signed, and in accordance with previous presidential elections (1996 and 2005) and the 1996 and 2006 Legislative Council elections.
He said that there is a need for immediate and rapid intervention in Israel by the Quartet, which he called the "occupying power", to enable the Arab residents of Jerusalem to participate in elections as candidates, exercise the right to vote and conduct election campaigns.
Maliki further noted that the decree regarding the elections was based on the understandings that the elections will be held in all the “Occupied Palestinian Territories”, including eastern Jerusalem, and that the position of the Palestinian leadership is clear and it will refuse to hold elections if they do not include eastern Jerusalem.
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.