The Palestinian elections have been postponed. This was announced by Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, on Thursday evening. He does not agree that Palestinians in East Jerusalem cannot vote.
Abbas announced the news after meeting with representatives of various Palestinian groups in Ramallah. Before that happened, Abbas said he only wanted to allow voting if Palestinians in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem could vote. The Palestinians view East Jerusalem as their future capital, but Israel regards all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital.
The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), which is in power in the Gaza Strip, has previously said that it will hold Israel accountable if the elections are canceled. She added that the movement does not agree to postpone or cancel the elections, but at the same time it cannot move forward without involving the Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
The first elections in 15 years
Earlier this year, the Palestinians announced their plans to hold the parliamentary elections on May 22 and the presidential elections on July 31, following an agreement between the two rival organizations Fatah (Abbas) and the radical Islamist movement Hamas. The last parliamentary elections in 2006 sparked a conflict between Fatah, which now controls the West Bank, and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. So it was the first Palestinian elections in fifteen years.
By the way, in 2006 the Palestinians from East Jerusalem were able to vote. The area is not under the control of Fatah or Hamas as Israel annexed it more than 50 years ago.