The head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, said that the reasons behind the decision to postpone the elections are not convincing at all, and that this means abolishing and confiscating the right of the Palestinian people, while European countries considered the postponement decision “disappointing.”
Haniyeh added – in a televised speech on Friday – that his movement was and still is with the holding of the legislative and presidential elections and the National Council on their specified dates (in May), and that ballot boxes are to be placed in the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, he said.
Haniyeh stressed Hamas’s position rejecting the elections without Jerusalem, noting that the dispute with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is dependent on the Palestinian decision and the path of consensus based on the occupation’s decision or submission to the will of Israel, as he put it.
For its part, France, Germany, Italy and Spain said that they were disappointed about Abbas’s decision to postpone the parliamentary elections, and urged him to set a new date as soon as possible.
In a joint statement, the four countries stated, “We call on the Palestinian Authority to set a new date for the elections as soon as possible. We call on Israel to facilitate the holding of such elections in all the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, in accordance with previous agreements.”
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Impose the will
For his part, European Union foreign policy and security official Josep Borrell said – in a statement – that the postponement of the elections – the first in 15 years – was “very disappointing.”
“We reiterate our call on Israel to facilitate the holding of these elections in all Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem,” Borrell said.
The State Department also said that holding Palestinian elections is important, and that it is determined by the people and their leadership, and it added that it encourages everyone to be calm.
The President of the Palestinian Authority announced the postponement of the date of the legislative elections due to the Israeli refusal to hold them in occupied Jerusalem. Advertising
In the closing statement of the factions meeting, Abbas said that international efforts, especially European ones, had failed to dissuade Israel from its decision to prevent elections in Jerusalem.
In a statement issued early today, Hamas expressed its regret over the postponement decision, saying that “it is not permissible for the entire national situation and popular and national consensus to depend on the agenda of a particular faction.”
Hamas held the National Liberation Movement (Fatah) and the PA presidency fully responsible for the postponement decision and its repercussions.
She said that the Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem are able to impose their will on the occupier and impose elections there.
Hamas organized mass rallies in several governorates of the Gaza Strip, in opposition to the decision of the President of the National Authority, and in support of Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque.