Palestinian officials today lashed out at Israel for banning a meeting in occupied East Jerusalem on Palestinian elections, accusing Israel of violating signed agreements.
Israeli police raided this morning a hotel in East Jerusalem and banned a meeting that was supposed to discuss the upcoming Palestinian legislative elections planned for May 22, while detaining the hotel manager and another local activist.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry and member of Fatah Central Committee, Hussein al-Sheikh, said in two separate statements that the Israeli act is a violation of agreements and the right of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem to participate in the elections.
“This is a dangerous sign of the position of the occupying power towards the participation of Jerusalem in the elections,” said the Foreign Ministry, describing it as “a blatant violation of the signed agreements to which the two parties are committed to, particularly the Israeli party.”
Al-Sheikh said in a tweet that preventing the meeting in Jerusalem is “a violation of the agreements and of the right to prepare Jerusalem to participate in the PLC (Palestinian Legislative Council) elections.”
Both called on the international community, particularly the European Union and the International Quartet, to intervene and pressure Israel to allow Palestinian elections in the occupied city.
“We call on the countries of the world to put pressure on Israel to force it to abide by the agreements signed that allow the people of Jerusalem the right to vote and run for the elections,” said al-Sheikh.
“If the occupying power did not allow a preparatory meeting, how do we expect it to agree on conducting elections campaign, registration of candidates, and voting in occupied Jerusalem,” wondered the Foreign Ministry, which also condemned in a separate statement Israel’s arrest of a candidate from Bethlehem, saying Israel is trying to put obstacles in the way of the elections.