On 05 April 2021, Al-Haq sent letters to European Union (EU) member states, in relation to Israel’s attempts to impair and undermine the prospect of conducting free, fair, and simultaneous national presidential, legislative, and Palestinian National Council elections, in violation of Palestinian inalienable right to self-determination and freedom of expression. The letters urged EU member states to immediately intervene and to undertake effective measures to ensure that Israel respects the democratic process of the Palestinian elections.
In particular, the letters outlined how the Israeli intelligence services have contacted, called, and summoned Palestinians to their offices; threatening to arrest them if any one of them decided to run for elections or to participate in any relevant activity. Using a different intimidation tactic, the Israeli occupying forces (IOF), accompanied by Israeli intelligence officers, further raided Palestinian homes and threatened potential candidates not to run for, or participate in, the Palestinian election process.
The letters highlighted Israel’s previous attacks on the democratic process in the lead-up, during, and in the aftermath of the 2005/2006 elections. As Palestinians continue to endure Israeli-imposed policies of displacement, dispossession, fragmentation, and denial of exercising their inalienable right to self-determination, inherent in Israel’s settler-colonial and apartheid regime over the Palestinian people as a whole, Al-Haq warned that given its current policies and practices of violations during the election process, there is a heightened risk that Israel will continue to interfere with the democratic process in Palestine throughout the election, and afterward.
The letters urged EU member states to take immediate and effective actions to prevent Israel from its attack on democracy and its ongoing intimidation and harassment actions and policies against the Palestinian people. By doing so, Israel, as an Occupying Power, is not only sabotaging the election process but also undermining the international community and third state efforts to ensure free and fair elections in Palestine.
Stressing that these attacks are conducted against all Palestinians, and their right to self-determination, the letters urged states to reaffirm their commitment to the protection of human rights and the rule of law in the State of Palestine; including by calling upon Israel to halt all its actions and interference that aim to impede and diminish the Palestinian elections process; and thereby, enabling Palestinians of holding free and fair elections in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.