World, Middle East

Palestine bans participation in Israeli local polls

Israeli local polls are scheduled to be held in October

Palestine bans participation in Israeli local polls File photo

By Abdel Raouf Arnaout


The Palestine Supreme Council of the Fatwa has banned participation in Israeli municipal election in East Jerusalem in October.

"Participation in the local election by running or voting is prohibited," the council said in a statement released on Monday.

Since Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East war, Palestinians have been refusing to take part in any Israeli polls in the city.

“Participation will help the [Israeli] occupation foster policies and plans aiming to expand its influence in the city,” the council said.

It went on to say that taking part in the polls “would also help Judaize the city and change its historical and religious features”.

According to Israeli estimates, some 360,000 Palestinians live in East Jerusalem.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem might eventually serve as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

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