World, Middle East

Palestine mulling to request UN help in Jerusalem polls

After 2 months, Israel yet to respond to Palestinian request to allow general, presidential elections in Jerusalem

Ayser al-Iss   | 07.04.2021
Palestine mulling to request UN help in Jerusalem polls

RAMALLAH, Palestine

The foreign minister of Palestine said on Wednesday that his country was mulling whether to ask the UN Security Council to issue a resolution allowing Palestinians to hold elections in Jerusalem.

Speaking to Palestine's official radio broadcaster, Riyad al-Maliki said "contacts continue with the International Quartet [US, EU, UN and Russia] and a number of foreign ministers in the world to pressure on Israel not to hinder conducting the elections especially in Jerusalem."

Al-Maliki described plans to hold Palestinian elections in Jerusalem as "an issue of great importance," adding that the international community did not abide by its commitment to pressure Israel to allow the ballot in the city.

An interim agreement signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel on Sept. 28, 1995, included an article allowing Palestinian residents to cast their votes in Israeli post offices.

On Sunday, a member of the ruling Fatah group's central committee, Hussein al-Sheikh, said the Palestinian Authority had made an official request to Israel two months ago to allow the elections in Jerusalem, but "there had been no response so far from Tel Aviv."

Palestinians residing in East Jerusalem took part in previous elections conducted in 1996, 2005, and 2006. They voted in six Israeli postal centers set up in the city. The votes were then sent by mail to the Palestinian Central Elections Commission.

International law views both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Israeli settlement-building activity there illegal.

Palestinians are set to elect a new legislature on May 22 and a president on July 31 after a gap of 15 years.

*Ahmed Asmar in Ankara contributed to this report from Ankara

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