Abbas Refuses to Hold Palestinian Elections Unless Jerusalemites Allowed to Vote

Abbas Refuses to Hold Palestinian Elections Unless Jerusalemites Allowed to Vote

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that he would not issue a presidential decree for the elections before guaranteeing that they would be held in Jerusalem.

Israel has so far disregarded a Palestinian request to hold the general elections in Jerusalem.

Abbas, during his participation in the Christmas dinner for churches that follow the Eastern calendar in the city of Bethlehem, stressed that he was working to hold the elections, but would not organize them if Jerusalem was not included.

“We decided to go to legislative and presidential elections, which constitute a popular, legal, and international demand for more than 10 years,” the Palestinian president said.

“We have been striving to achieve these elections, and all factions have agreed to hold them at the earliest opportunity.

However, our problem now is with Israel, which refuses to organize elections in Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Palestine,” he underlined.

Abbas called on the “whole world” to pressure Israel on this file.

“We may take difficult measures, but we will not use force, violence or terrorism; but rather we will resort to soft diplomacy as we have done for more than 10 years, and we can use it to achieve our goals,” he added.

Abbas reiterated his position that he does not deny the existence of Israel. He said: “Rather, they deny our existence and do not accept it. International legitimacy recognized the existence of two states: the state of Israel and the state of Palestine. This has to be recognized by America first.”

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