- Title: Palestinians eye long-delayed election, ask Israel to allow Jerusalem voting
- Date: 18th December 2019
- Summary: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (DECEMBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS) PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS AT CONFERENCE PALESTINIAN OFFICIALS AND MEDIA AT CONFERENCE PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS AT CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS, SAYING: "The first is the issue of the legislative and presidential elections which we announced at the United Nations. When we decided on these elections we were serious to do them. We believe in elections, and we want the elections to happen because we have not had legislative nor presidential elections since 2006, and therefore we must do these elections, but not at any cost. The elections should happen in the Palestinian territories and that is the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem. From the start, I am making it clear that without the residents of Jerusalem voting in Jerusalem, then there won't be elections." EXTERIOR OF PRESIDENTIAL COMPOUND PALESTINIAN FLAG FLYING
- Embargoed: 1st January 2020 19:21
- Keywords: Israel Jerusalem Palestinians elections
- Location: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- City: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001BAI82FB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The Palestinian Authority (PA) said on Wednesday (December 18) its heralded national election must also be held in East Jerusalem, an area annexed by Israel, raising a demand on which a still-unscheduled vote could hinge.
Palestinians' last parliamentary ballot in 2006 resulted in a surprise win by Hamas, widening an internal political rift that led to the Islamist group's seizure of the Gaza Strip in 2007 and contributed to the long delay in setting further elections.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the rival Fatah party and is based in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, said in September he would issue a decree for national elections, but gave no date.
Hamas supported the move, while PA officials put Israel on the spot by requesting it again allow polling stations in East Jerusalem to operate, as they had in the parliamentary ballot in 2006 and a presidential election a year earlier.
That message was echoed on Wednesday by Abbas, who said in a conference that legislative "elections should happen in the Palestinian territories and that is the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem."
Israel forbids any official activity in Jerusalem by the Western-backed PA, saying it breaches 1990s interim peace deals with the Palestinians. An Israeli official said on Tuesday Israel was aware of the Palestinians' request but "has not yet taken a position on it".
Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in a move that has not won international recognition. It regards all of Jerusalem as its capital.
Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a state they want to establish in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
(Production: Suheir Sheikh, Saed Howari)
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