Palestine Takes Another Step To May Elections

Published March 21st, 2021 - 07:06 GMT
A Palestinian woman waves the national flag at an Israeli border guard
A Palestinian woman waves the national flag as an Israeli border guard stands at attention during a protest in the Palestinian village of Susya, south of Yatta town, in the occupied West Bank on March 14, 2021, against the visit of the Israeli Prime Minister to an archaeological site next to the Israeli settlement of Susya. HAZEM BADER / AFP
Highlights
Israel has yet to formally respond to a Palestinian request to allow balloting to take place in East Jerusalem, Palestinian officials said.

Palestinians took another step in preparations for their first parliamentary election in 15 years on Saturday, opening registration offices to admit the political parties and independent candidates that will take part.

The May 22 election in the West Bank and Gaza is part of a broader push for reconciliation between President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction and rival Islamist group Hamas. This is seen as vital to building broader support for any future statehood talks with Israel, frozen since 2014.

The last time a parliamentary ballot was held in 2006, Hamas emerged as the surprise victor. A power struggle ensued, and in 2007, after weeks of fighting that left dozens dead, the Islamist group seized control of Gaza from forces loyal to Abbas. Abbas’ authority has limited control over the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Some 93% of the 2.8 million eligible voters in the West Bank and Gaza have registered for the polling. The total population in the Palestinian territories is 5.2 million.

Israel has yet to formally respond to a Palestinian request to allow balloting to take place in East Jerusalem, Palestinian officials said.

Israel has so far sent mixed signals and Palestinians fear that Israel could decide to ban Palestinians from voting in Jerusalem if the right-wing wins big in next Tuesday’s Israeli elections.

Israel captured the eastern part of Jerusalem in a 1967 war and later annexed it in a move that has not won international recognition. It did allow voting there in 2006.

Unlike in the 1996 and 2006 elections, Palestinians will not be voting for individual candidates, rather for parties or lists that contain between 16 and 132 candidates.

Farid Taamallah, a spokesman of the Palestinian Central Election Commission, said on Saturday that officials had so far registered two electoral lists. Registration ends on March 31.

This article has been adapted from its original source.     


© 2022-2022 The Arab Weekly. All rights reserved.

You may also like