Palestinian President Abbas announces postponement of general elections

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Thursday, April 29, the postponement of the presidential and parliamentary elections in the country due to the inability to vote for residents of East Jerusalem.

“The elections should cover all Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, so they are postponed until the organization of voting there is guaranteed,” WAFA quoted him as saying.

At the same time, the Palestinian leadership decided to form a government of national unity that would recognize all international agreements concluded by the Palestine Liberation Organization in Oslo in the 90s.

After 15 years of no elections in Palestine, three voting procedures were to go through this year: a legislative vote scheduled for May 22, a presidential election on July 31, and a month later parliamentary elections for the Palestinian National Council (PNC).

The main stumbling block is East Jerusalem, home to some 340,000 Palestinians. Israel, which gained control of the city in 1967, rejects any sign of Palestinian sovereignty, and has launched a campaign to ban Palestinian elections in the city, threatening to arrest local candidates.

The aggravation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict occurred in May 2018, after the United States opened a new embassy in Israel, moving it from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Thus, the States de facto recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state. Palestine considers part of the city its territory.