Middle East Monitor / April 27, 2021
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is set to announce the cancellation of the Palestinian elections under the pretext of Israel’s refusal to allow Jerusalemites to cast their votes, various local and Israeli sources have reported. Abbas is also the head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation as well as the Fatah movement.
Israeli Army Radio reported that the PA had informed representatives of the international community, Jordan, and Egypt about the decision. It is believed that the Palestinian leadership will convene in Ramallah on Thursday. According to PA officials, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been invited to attend the meeting where Abbas is set to make the cancellation announcement.
Abbas and several Fatah officials have insisted repeatedly that there would be no elections without the participation of the Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem. The latest occasion was on Monday when Abbas addressed the Fatah Central Committee.
However, Al-Quds newspaper reported informed sources as saying that the PA had decided to cancel the elections “under heavy American and Arab pressure.” Washington and regional countries apparently “believe that the results of the elections will not favour Fatah.”
The implication is that the US and regional states fear another Hamas victory at the polls. Once again, it seems, the people of occupied Palestine are going to be denied their democratic right to choose their political representatives freely and fairly.
The same sources added that the US had informed the PA that it would introduce several measures prior to any elections, including the resumption to aid to UNRWA, rehabilitating the Palestinian healthcare system, reopening the US Consulate in occupied Jerusalem, and reopening the PLO’s office in Washington.
“The US administration believes that these measures will help the moderate [sic] Palestinians get better results in the elections,” it was claimed. Critics say that these are the sweeteners to encourage Abbas to cancel the elections.
Israeli sources reported by Safa news agency said that Abbas had commissioned a senior member of the Fatah Central Committee, Hussein Al-Sheikh, to persuade Qatar to ask for Hamas’s agreement on the election cancellation under the pretext of “inappropriate” conditions in the region.