Palestinian killed in West Bank; Growing tension over Jerusalem vote
Israeli troops killed a Palestinian in the West Bank city of Jenin Wednesday morning. During the clash, an Israeli was reported wounded.
Earlier and during an overnight raid in the West Bank, Israeli troops shot and injured a Palestinian man who had reportedly opened fire on Israeli soldiers in the town of Nablus.
Five men were arrested during raid, including a member of the Tanzim faction and two Hamas members, Israeli military sources revealed.
Meanwhile, Israeli sources announced that Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem would not be allowed to vote in the upcoming January 25 legislative elections of the Palestinian Authority due to the participation of the Hamas in the election. Israel, which occupies East Jerusalem, objects to the participation of Hamas.
Palestinians living in East Jerusalem are allowed to vote for PA elections under a stipulation in the 1993 Oslo Accords.
In response, the PA announced on Wednesday that it would delay upcoming parliamentary elections if Israel banned the vote in East Jerusalem, according to Palesitinian Information Minister Nabil Shaath.
"If the Israelis insist on not allowing us to conduct the elections in Jerusalem, then there will be no elections at all," Shaath said, according to Haaretz.
The move is supposedly an attempt to stem the rise of Hamas to power, with Israeli authorities banning any type of voting on the part of Palestinians living in Jerusalem, even via post offices as previously stipulated.
Hamas calls on Egypt to allow elections to run as planned
Meanwhile, Hamas representatives on Wednesday called on Egypt to help the PA hold elections as planned on January 25.
Hamas criticized the EU and US in a press release for disrupting the Palestinian democratic process in an attempt to control the outcome of the elections and weaken the group, which gained widespread support in local elections.
"We demand [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas to adhere to his announced standpoint of holding elections on time, and we call on our brothers in Egypt to help the Palestinian people and the [Palestinian] Authority to hold elections on time," the statement read, according to Haaretz.
Israel threatens to cut electricity to Gaza in response to rocket attacks on Israel
In response to continuing rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities have threatened to cut off the Strip's electricity supply.
On Sunday, a Qassam rocket fired from Gaza landed near an Israeli power plant, and on Tuesday, five Qassams landed in other parts of Israeli territory outside the Gaza Strip.
Implementation of the move was postponed to give the time for the main Palestinian hospital in Gaza to purchase emergency generators.
Cutting off Gaza's electricity would inevitably cause further damage to the Strip's economic and social infrastructure, as power would be shut to factories and hospitals as well.
Israel has never before taken such a step. The prevailing view in Israel is that if such a step were taken, the Palestinian public opinion could pressure organizations responsible for rocket attacks on Israel to cease their activities.