Jerusalem (AP) —Israel temporarily detains three Palestinian legislative candidates on Saturday and bans Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem from voting in next month’s vote derails them Deepened the debate over whether it was possible.
The three candidates represent a Palestine Liberation Organization faction that has planned a press conference at a hotel in Jerusalem and called for pressure on Israel to allow political activity in the eastern part of the city. Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency, reported.
By simply detaining the candidate, Israel seems to signal that it will not tolerate Palestinian political activity in East Jerusalem. It has not been revealed whether Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem will be allowed to vote in the elections.
Palestinians want to make East Jerusalem a part of the future nation, but Israel, which occupied and annexed the city in 1967, sees the entire city as an inseparable capital.
Witnesses said Israeli police blocked the road leading to the St. George Hotel, where candidates for the PLO faction, including President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement, wanted to hold a meeting. They were released after 3 hours.
Israeli police did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the case.
Abbas proclaimed the Palestinian legislative election for the first time in 15 years on May 22, followed by the July presidential election.
However, the controversy over the voting rights of East Jerusalem residents appears to unite the radical Hamas group that controls its main rival, Gaza, while Fatah in particular suffers from a threat to its unity. Therefore, it may provide an excuse to stop voting. Voices of some Palestinians, including inside Fatah, emphasize that “elections would not be possible without Jerusalem.”
Palestinians have urged the European Union to put pressure on Israel to allow residents of East Jerusalem to vote. Israel is not responding.
Hamas, who sent pro-Abbas troops a year after winning the 2006 election and took full control of Gaza, accused the candidate of detention and described it as “extreme interference in the election.” did.
Fatah also blamed the ban on press conferences. This is the second time in two weeks.