Nabil Abu Rudeineh
Nabil Abu Rudeineh Reuters

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas, said on Tuesday that the contacts the Palestinian Authority is holding in order to pressure Israel to allow the Palestinian parliamentary elections to take place in "occupied Jerusalem" will continue until the PA leadership meeting on Thursday, where its position on the election will be determined.

Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, Abu Rudeineh said that Israel has not yet allowed the European Union to send observers to the elections, and in particular to the polling stations in eastern Jerusalem.

He blamed the Israeli government for the failure to hold elections to the Palestinian parliament and called on the international community to assist the Palestinian Authority in holding a comprehensive election in Jerusalem.

Abu Rudeineh noted that the PA leadership led by Abbas had made a decision that parliamentary elections would not take place if elections could not be held in eastern Jerusalem.

He further said that the young Palestinian Arabs who took part in the “resistance” in Jerusalem over the past week resolutely opposed the "attacks of the occupation authorities and the settlers" and conveyed a message that Jerusalem is an Arab and Islamic 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.

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.

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