PLO says no to elections without Jerusalem

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas leads PLO board meeting in Ramallah, West Bank in October 2019 (İssam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  March 31, 2021

An Executive Member of the Central Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation called on Tuesday for the international community to bear the consequences of Israel’s possible refusal to allow Palestinians in Jerusalem to participate in the upcoming elections. Ahmed Majdalani said that it is impossible to hold elections without Jerusalemites’ involvement.

Majdalani made his statement after claiming that the Israeli occupation authorities have told the EU that they are not going to allow the elections to be held in Jerusalem. “[If true] this is a completely racist decision which ignores the fact that international laws and conventions consider Jerusalem to be an integral part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.”

The PLO official called on the international community, EU, Russia, and China to reject the Israeli veto on Jerusalemites’ participation in the legislative, presidential, and national council elections this year.

“Jerusalem is not an electoral slogan, but the essence of the struggle,” he added. “Israel is trying to undermine the democratic process in Palestine.”

However, the representative of the EU in the occupied territories denied that Israel had informed the bloc about such a ban. Speaking to Al-Jazeera TV, Shadi Othman said that the EU had applied for Israel to allow EU observers to monitor the elections in East Jerusalem, and the EU is still waiting for the Israeli reply. He expects that Israel will allow the elections to proceed in all of the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.