‘Delaying Palestinian polls hinder efforts to end internal split’

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hana Nasser, chairman of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (PCEC). (Credit: Twitter)

Gaza, June 24 (IANS) A senior Hamas official has said that the Palestinian Authority’s decision to postpone the elections has hindered the efforts to end the internal split.

Saleh Arouri, the Hamas’ deputy chief who is in charge of the reconciliation issue, said in a statement on Wednesday that the failure to achieve a breakthrough in the previous rounds of dialogue was a result of postponing the elections, which were initially slated for May 22, reports Xinhua news agency.

The decision not to hold the elections “was made without consultations with the partners or the guarantors”, Arouri added.

On April 29, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced the postponement of the 2021 legislative elections.

Abbas’ announcement came after Israel refused to allow the Palestinian elections to be held in East Jerusalem.

Reaffirming that East Jerusalem as “a red line”, Abbas had said the general elections could not be held if Palestinians in East Jerusalem can’t participate.

The Palestinian leadership insists on holding the general elections in occupied East Jerusalem, just like the two previous legislative elections in 1996 and 2006 and the 2005 presidential elections.

In January, Abbas announced that the 2021 general elections would include the legislative elections on May 22, the presidential elections on July 31, and the elections of the Palestinian National Council, the highest decision-making body of the Palestine Liberation Organization, on August 31.

Abbas chaired a meeting for his ruling Fatah party’s revolutionary council on Monday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, calling on the Palestinian factions to launch a serious dialogue to end the internal split.

The internal Palestinian split began when Hamas routed the security forces of Abbas and forcibly seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

All efforts to end the split have so far failed.

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