Bahr: Elections in Jerusalem is red line

Days of Palestine – Gaza – The First Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (Parliament) Ahmed Bahr affirmed that the occupied city of Jerusalem is a “red line”, calling on the Palestinians in all the occupied territories to support the “Sheikh Jarrah” neighborhood and work to strengthen the foundations of their steadfastness against attempts of displacement and Judaization.

This came in a press conference held by the Presidency of the Legislative Council, today, Wednesday, at the Council’s headquarters in Gaza, with the participation of deputies from the Fatah and Hamas blocs, in support of the Jerusalemites in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and against the decision of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to disrupt the elections.

Read More: Al-Tawil: Hamas determines to hold elections in Jerusalem

“The participation of Jerusalemites in the electoral process is a national right that is imposed a battle with the occupier, not begging for Zionist approval, which constitutes a major national sin,” Bahr said.

He added that the Legislative Council is proud of the revolution in Jerusalem and their victory over the occupation with their firm will, and the state of popular support from Gaza, West Bank, and the occupied territories in 1948 in the unity of a national position, which indicates the centrality of Jerusalem in the conflict, and in a message of challenge to the Israeli occupation and its crimes against the land and human.

Read More: Qazzaz: Palestinian elections to held in Jerusalem by challenging the occupation

He indicated that Abbas’s decision to suspend the general elections constituted a blow to the national efforts and a coup against the democratic choice and the popular will, which forces the Legislative Council to continue bearing the secretariat as the parliamentary institution elected by the people, whose constitutional legitimacy remains until the legislative elections are held and the new council assumes its duties according to the Palestinian Basic Law.

He stressed that the Council will not allow the power vacuum that was the goal of Mahmoud Abbas behind his decision to suspend the parliamentary elections without any national references despite the end of his constitutional mandate since January 9, 2009, according to the Palestinian Basic Law.

Bahr indicated that the legal and national way out for the current situation is to reactivate the Legislative Council in the West Bank, just like in Gaza, to form the parliamentary reference for the state of vacuum on government performance in the West Bank, and an entry point for the reunification of national institutions.

He called on the parliamentary blocs and all elected members of the Legislative Council to shoulder their national responsibilities and return to work under the dome of the inclusive parliament between the West Bank and Gaza, calling on the Palestinian Authority to stop the disruption of parliamentary life in the West Bank and to end its security grip and to open the gates of the Legislative Council before the Speaker and its members to carry out their parliamentary duties.

He also called on the Palestinian factions and all the active forces to protect the Palestinian political system from the state of arbitrariness and exclusivity in the political decision far from the national group and work to form an inclusive national front to protect our people rights and work to liberate the national decision from any Israeli hegemony or subject it to foreign agendas.

On Friday, the President of the Authority issued a decree postponing the holding of the general elections, which had been called by a previous decree, without specifying another date for holding them.

The Palestinian elections were scheduled to take place in 3 stages during the current year: legislative (parliamentary) on May 22, presidential on July 31, and elections to the National Council on August 31.

(Source / 05.05.2021)

Hamas slams PA’s attack on Palestinian parliamentary candidate in Hebron

Nizar Banat, the candidate for the Palestinian parliament
Nizar Banat, the candidate for the Palestinian parliament

Days of Palestine – Gaza -Hamas Movement Sunday released a statement on the attack on the Palestinian political activist and candidate for the parliament Nizar Banat’s home in Hebron.

Musa Dodeen, Member of Hamas Political Bureau, said that his movement denounced the heinous attack on the house of Nizar Banat, the candidate for the Palestinian parliament, in the West Bank town of Dura in Hebron.

Read More: Israel raids house of Hamas’ candidate in Jericho

“As we deplore the idea that Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces were accompanying the gunmen who opened fire at Banat’s home, the officially state-sponsored attacks on Palestinian citizens for expressing their opinions is a serious development that paves the way for a stage of chaos that should be avoided,” Dodeen added.

He stated that expressing opinions against the PA leadership’s decision to postpone the Palestinian elections should remain guaranteed.

Read More: Israeli forces raid Hamas candidate’s home, arrest his son in Bethlehem

He stressed that postponing the Palestinian votes and its repercussions on the Palestinian cause and interests should be discussed by the political elites and electoral lists formed in the run-up to the elections.

Dodeen confirmed that his movement believes that suppressing and intimidating political activists will worsen the situation of freedoms in Palestine.

“We affirm that taking a unilateral decision to postpone the elections without consulting all Palestinian parties, not seeking solutions for the challenges facing the Palestinian vote, and not coming up with a national strategy will keep the state of uncertainty witnessed by the Palestinian politics; this requires a comprehensive national dialogue away from monopoly,” Dodeen added.

(Source / 03.05.2021)

PA postpones elections; Hamas refuses

Days of Palestine – Gaza – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced that Israel refused to give them an answer regarding holding the elections in the occupied city of Jerusalem, under the pretext of “the absence of an Israeli government.”

In a meeting held in Ramallah Thursday evening, Abbas stressed that the elections will not take place without the participation of Jerusalemites.

Read More: Al-Tawil: Hamas determines to hold elections in Jerusalem

The spokesman for the “Al Quds is our Destination” list, Muhammad Sabha, said that Hamas refused to attend the meeting and its position is clear and they refused to postpone, and they will not give any coverage for PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision.

In a statement that reached Days of Palestine, Sabha explained that a late invitation had been sent to them to attend a meeting of the Palestinian factions at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah, stressing that they had decided not to accept the invitation.

Read More: Qazzaz: Palestinian elections to held in Jerusalem by challenging the occupation

He added that the reason for not attending; Firstly because we are against postponing the elections, and secondly, we will not be a cover for anyone to issue this decision.

On the repercussions of the decision to postpone the elections, Sabha said that the repercussions relate to two aspects; The first: What is related to stopping the wheel of what was agreed upon in the Cairo meeting and saving the Palestinian reality and creating legitimacy, and the second: repercussions on the ground.

(Source / 01.05.2021)

Mass rejection in Ramallah and Gaza of postponing the election

Days of Palestine – Ramallah – Palestinian electoral lists, factions, and activists Thursday evening, organized a demonstration in the Gaza Strip and Ramallah refusing to postpone the legislative elections.

Hundreds of citizens participated in the Ramallah march in a demonstration that roamed the streets of the city amid chants calling for the elections to be held on time and not to be postponed.

Read More: Haniyeh: Postponing the elections means confiscating political right of the Palestinians

The demonstration came after a speech by the President of the Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, in which he said that the holding of elections depends on the approval of Israel to hold them in Jerusalem.

The participants chanted phrases calling on the president of the authority to approve the elections, “We want elections … the people want the ballot box.”

Read More: Electoral lists reject Abbas’s postponing the Palestinian elections

The demonstrators called to go out in all squares and all governorates, and to challenge the occupation’s decision to prevent elections from taking place in Jerusalem.

Candidates for lists during the demonstration considered that postponing the elections is the biggest danger that the march of national reconciliation will face and rebuilding the political system, stressing that rejecting the elections is delegitimizing.

Hundreds of Palestinians also took to the streets, tonight, in mass rallies in several areas in the Gaza Strip refusing to postpone the elections.

The marches that roamed different areas of the Gaza Strip, despite the ban decision in the context of the outbreak of the Coronavirus, called for elections to be held on time and not to accept that the occupation prevented them from taking place in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

The participants, who waved Palestinian flags, chanted slogans demanding that the elections be held on time and that the elections are a right that cannot be postponed or canceled.

(Source / 01.05.2021)

Electoral lists reject Abbas’s postponing the Palestinian elections

Days of Palestine – Ramallah – Speakers and representatives of a number of Palestinian electoral lists nominated for the legislative elections rejected the statements and speech of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday evening, Thursday.

“We agree that the elections should be in Jerusalem, but our Jerusalemites are able to impose elections there,” said the candidate on the “Al Quds is our Destination” list.

Read More: Hamas lists people with disabilities on electoral list for Palestinian parliament

Al-Taweel stressed that postponing the elections under the pretext of taking permission from the Israeli occupation, is a submission to the will of the occupation and its sovereignty over the city of Jerusalem, and means a robbery of the will of the Palestinian people, and a trampling of their natural right.

He indicated that half of the Palestinian people did not exercise their right to vote and change, because of the delay in conducting elections throughout the past years.

Read More: Conflicting expectations in Palestine amid registration of dozens of electoral lists

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced that Israel refused to give them an answer regarding holding the elections in the occupied city of Jerusalem, under the pretext of “the absence of an Israeli government.”

In a meeting held in Ramallah Thursday evening, Abbas stressed that the elections will not take place without the participation of Jerusalemites.

(Source / 01.05.2021)

PFLP refuses to postpone the elections

Days of Palestine – Gaza – The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) renewed its position, “refusing to postpone the elections, which it expressed in the meeting of the Abbas’s President of PA, and adhering to national agreements to hold elections in its three rounds, which gave our people the hope for ending the division and for the possibility of democratic change, and rebuilding national institutions in accordance with the national will.”

PFLP indicated in a statement, on Friday, that it was keen to participate in the “leadership” meeting that was held to discuss this matter; Out of national responsibility, and on the basis of exerting all efforts to complete the requirements of holding elections.

Read More: PA postpones elections; Hamas refuses

The statement added that the Palestinian arena has lived in recent days in a state of suspense over the possibility of postponing the legislative elections after their conduct was linked to the occupation’s stance towards them in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

It stressed that the PFLP will seek by all means to reverse the decision to postpone the elections through the broadest national and popular alignment that imposes on the PA to implement this national entitlement.

Read More: Haniyeh: Postponing the elections means confiscating political right of the Palestinians

The statement continued that PFLP sees the elections as one of the mechanisms for self-determination for Palestinian people, so it called for elections to be a means of clashing with the Israeli occupation, and in their outcome aimed at ridding our people and the institutions of power from the agreements signed with it, and from the political, economic and security restrictions that were created by them.

(Source / 01.05.2021)

Haniyeh: Postponing the elections means confiscating political right of the Palestinians

The head of the political bureau of “Hamas”, Ismail Haniyeh, Friday said that the decision to postpone the Palestinian elections is unfortunate and regrettable.

He added – in a televised speech published by Al Aqsa TV – that the unfortunate decision to postpone the elections put the Palestinian arena in a region that resembles a vacuum, and there are big issues that should have been addressed through the institutions that will be formed after the elections.

Haniyeh added that postponing the elections means canceling them and confiscating the political right of the Palestinians.

Read More: Electoral lists reject Abbas’s postponing the Palestinian elections

He pointed out that there is no disagreement over the necessity of holding elections in Jerusalem, but the disagreement over the Palestinian decision depends on the decision of the Israeli occupation.

He stressed that the Palestinians are united in the battle of Jerusalem, and are committed to the necessity of holding elections in Jerusalem.

Read More: Mass rejection in Ramallah and Gaza of postponing the election

He pointed out that his movement provided very high flexibility and had the highest levels of national and historical responsibility in order to achieve unity and reconciliation.

“We always wanted to overcome the difficulties in order to reach this stage (the legislative elections) within the roadmap that we agreed upon in Istanbul and Cairo, so that the electoral process ends within 6 months,” Haniyeh added.

He continued that we had hoped that the elections would proceed until its end, but unfortunately, it was not completed, for reasons that are not convincing at all, stressing that his movement was and still is with the elections being held on their specified dates, and confirming that the elections should be held in Jerusalem.

Haniyeh called for holding a national meeting that brings together all the factions and forces to study how to work during the next period, adding: “We still believe that we can hold the elections on the date of 5-22 in Jerusalem first.”

(Source / 01.05.2021)

‘A coup’: Palestinian factions slam parliamentary poll delay

The Palestinian Hamas movement, which governs the besieged Gaza Strip, has slammed President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to delay parliamentary polls that were scheduled to take place on May 22.

Late on Thursday, President Abbas announced the postponement, citing Israel’s rejection of allowing elections to be held in occupied East Jerusalem. He stressed, however, that once Israel permits elections in Jerusalem, he will hold the polls “within a week”.

“We received with regret the Fatah [group] and Palestinian Authority’s decision represented through its chairman, Mr Mahmoud Abbas, to disrupt the Palestinian elections,” the Hamas group said in a statement.

Read More: Palestinian prisoner enters his 19th year in the occupation prisons

It said it held the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah fully responsible for the postponement and its repercussions, considering such a step “a coup against the path of national partnership and consensus”.

The statement said Hamas had boycotted the meeting, as “it knew earlier that the PA and Fatah are heading to disrupt the elections for other calculations not related to Jerusalem”.

Read More: Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian man, injure wife

Also rejecting the decision, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine called for adherence to national agreements to hold the elections, adding that it will seek all means to reverse the decision to postpone the vote.

The European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, also condemned the decision to delay the long-awaited polls.

“The decision to postpone the planned Palestinian elections, including the legislative elections originally scheduled for 22 May, is deeply disappointing,” Borrell said in a statement.

“We strongly encourage all Palestinian actors to resume efforts to build on the successful talks between the factions over recent months. A new date for elections should be set without delay.”

The delay risks inflaming tensions in a politically fractured Palestinian society.

Earlier this week, Al-Quds daily, known for being close to the PA, revealed that Abbas was under Arab and American pressure to delay the polls. It said the pressure was due to the likelihood of Hamas winning the elections.

Protests

Speaking to Al Jazeera before the decision, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank said if the Palestinian government really wanted to hold a vote, it would have found a solution.

“It’s easy to find excuses,” a Palestinian shopkeeper said.

Following Abbas’s decision, hundreds of angry Palestinians gathered in the central city of Ramallah and the Gaza Strip to condemn the move.

“We have an entire generation of young people that doesn’t know what elections mean,” Tariq Khudairi, a protester in Ramallah, told AFP news agency. “This generation has the right to elect its leaders.”

Buying time

Abbas’s critics had charged that he would use the Jerusalem issue to buy time as Fatah’s political prospects deteriorated.

Hamas was seen as better organised than Fatah and well placed to gain ground in the West Bank.

Observers also see the Jerusalem issue as a possible pretext for the cancellation because a victory for Abbas’s heavily divided Fatah is considered uncertain.

In recent polls, two-thirds of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the president.

Abbas has also faced challenges from Fatah splinter groups, including one led by Nasser al-Kidwa, a nephew of iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and another by a powerful, exiled former Fatah security chief, Mohammed Dahlan.

‘Nonsense’

During the last Palestinian election, East Jerusalem residents cast ballots on the outskirts of the city and thousands voted in post offices, a symbolic move agreed to by Israel.

Israel’s foreign ministry said this week that elections were “an internal Palestinian issue, and that Israel has no intention of intervening in them or preventing them”.

But it made no comment on voting in Jerusalem, the city it describes as its “undivided capital” and where it now bans all Palestinian political activity.

Abbas told PLO leaders that he had received a message from Israel saying it could not offer guidance on the Jerusalem issue because the Jewish state currently had no government.

Israel is itself mired in its worst-ever political crisis, with no government yet formed following the inconclusive March 23 elections.

Israeli ‘veto’

Speaking to reporters before Friday’s announcement, Palestinian journalist and Abbas critic Nadia Harhash said using Jerusalem to justify a postponement “is definitely not a smart move for the PA”.

Harhash, an election candidate in an anti-Abbas faction, argued it gives Israel de facto veto power over the Palestinian right to vote.

Hamas had also said a delay amounted to a surrender to “the [Israeli] occupation’s veto”.

The elections have been seen in part as a unified effort by the Hamas and the Fatah to bolster international faith in Palestinian governance before possible renewed US-led diplomacy under President Joe Biden, after four years of Donald Trump that saw Washington endorse key Israeli objectives.

Analysts said Abbas had hoped the elections would allow Fatah and Hamas to continue sharing power, but felt threatened by the emergence of strong splinter factions and the rise of new groups critical of his leadership.

(Source / 01.05.2021)

Palestinian Authority plans to call off first elections in 15 years

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- Egyptian officials say the Palestinian Authority plans to call off its first elections in 15 years, citing Israel’s refusal to allow voting in east Jerusalem, Israel Hayom reported.

An Egyptian diplomat and an intelligence official told the newspaper that they had been briefed on the decision, which will be announced on Thursday at a meeting of Palestinian factions.

They said Egypt is in talks with the occupation state of ‘Israel’ to reach a compromise to allow the vote but those efforts have so far failed.

The two spoke late Monday on condition of anonymity to discuss the closed-door talks, the newspaper said.

The intelligence official said Hamas wants the elections to go ahead, but that no faction wants to proceed without guarantees from the international community that voting will be held in East Jerusalem.

The official said the factions are discussing the formation of a unity government instead that would include Hamas.

Israeli Army Radio also 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.

However, Al-Quds newspaper reported 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 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 Palestinians get better results in the elections,” it was claimed.

Israeli sources also reported 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.

(Source / 27.04.2021)

Hamas rejects delaying Palestinian elections

The Islamic resistance movement, Hamas, has rejected the delaying of the Palestinian elections, a senior group leader said on Tuesday.

“Postponing the polls – if happened – will be a serious decision,” Jamal al-Tawil told Anadolu Agency.

“Such a decision will be rejected as it will harm the high interests of the Palestinian people,” he said.

The Palestinian Authority is planning to call off the first elections in 15 years, citing Israel’s refusal to allow voting in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

An Egyptian diplomat and an intelligence official told Israel Hayom that they had been briefed on the decision, which will be announced on Thursday at a meeting of Palestinian factions.

The intelligence official said Hamas wants the elections to go ahead, but that no faction wants to proceed without guarantees from the international community that voting will be held in East Jerusalem.

The official said the factions are discussing the formation of a unity government instead that would include Hamas.

Israeli Army Radio also 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.

However, Al-Quds newspaper reported 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 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 Palestinians get better results in the elections,” it was claimed.

Israeli sources also reported 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.

President Mahmud Abbas said that legislative, presidential and National Council elections would be held in the coming months, as part of a warming of ties between Fatah and Hamas.

The elections are supposed to be held under decree issued by President Mahmoud Abbas in three stages: the legislative on May 22, the presidential elections on July 31, and the elections for the National Council on August 31.

The last Palestinian elections for the Legislative Council were held in 2006, and Hamas won the majority, while presidential elections were held in 2005, and President Abbas won.

(Source / 27.04.2021)