Palestine PM calls on Europe to pressure Israel to allow Jerusalem elections


Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has called on the European Union (EU) to pressure Israel to allow the long-awaited Palestinian legislative elections to be held in Jerusalem.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday postponed the planned vote, the first Palestinian elections in 15 years, amid a dispute over voting in the occupied East Jerusalem and divisions in his Fatah party.

The delay drew immediate criticism from many Palestinians and from would-be voters. No Palestinian under 34 has taken part in national elections.

The decision was also criticized by the Gaza-based Palestinian Hamas resistance movement, with Ismail Haniyeh, the head of its political bureau, insisting that the movement lacked any credible justification.

Haniyeh also said that the polls were a necessity in tackling the threats to the Palestinian cause, such as the so-called deal of the century, and Israel’s annexation plans.

On Sunday, Shtayyeh stressed that the legislative elections were just postponed, and not canceled. He also called on the EU to pressure Israel to allow the Palestinian vote to be held in Jerusalem, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.

He also called on the EU to pressure the regime to allow Palestinians there to both casts their votes and run as electoral candidates.

Shtayyeh’s remarks were made during a meeting with the EU representative to Palestine, Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, in the premier’s office in Ramallah.

The comments came as Israeli authorities have made many efforts to either cancel or postpone the Palestinian elections.

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