Palestine to set new poll date if Israel approves voting in E.Jerusalem

Palestine will set a new date for holding the general elections if Israel approves voting in East Jerusalem, according to Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye.

“Once Israel allows holding the general elections in East Jerusalem, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will immediately issue a decree to set a new date for the general elections in the Palestinian territories,” Ishtaye said during a meeting on Wednesday with Lynn Hastings, the UN deputy special coordinator for the Middle East peace process.

“Holding the general elections is a Palestinian strategic decision and holding them in East Jerusalem is substantial,” he told the UN official.

“Ignoring East Jerusalem means that we accept the rejected U.S. Deal of the Century,” the Prime Minister said.

Last week, Abbas announced the general elections will be postponed until further notice, Xinhua news agency.

“We have decided to postpone the general elections until the participation of our people in East Jerusalem is guaranteed,” the President said.

He stressed that the Palestinian people in East Jerusalem have the right to vote and run as candidates in the upcoming elections.

The Palestinian leadership insists on holding the general elections in East Jerusalem, as they want to elect a new parliament and a new president covering all Palestinian territories.

In January, Abbas announced the 2021 general elections will include the legislative elections on May 22, the presidential elections on July 31, and the elections of the Palestinian National Council, the highest decision-making body of the Palestine Liberation Organization, on August 31.

The Palestinians in East Jerusalem participated in the last presidential and legislative elections held in 2005 and 2006.