Late on Friday, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh announced that the postponement of the scheduled Palestinian elections has no reliable justification.
Haniyeh expressed in an interview that it was “unfortunate” that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas decided not to hold elections due to Jerusalem being excluded from the voting. “If the Oslo Agreement protocols are adhered to, the postponement of the elections would mean the confiscation of the political rights of the Palestinians,” he added. If Palestinian will is devoted to Israel’s decision, Israel cannot be fought politically and on the field, he further said.
“As Hamas, we say that the elections should be held in Jerusalem. We agree on this,” he said, touching on the importance of Jerusalem. “Neither the state nor Palestine has any meaning for us without Jerusalem. Jerusalem has many political, social, religious, and cultural dimensions.”
The difference of attitude is not based on holding elections in Jerusalem but on Palestine’s decision being attached to Israel, he said. The Palestinians insist on holding the elections in Jerusalem, according to Haniyeh, who added that there is still time to do so and that the people in Jerusalem are also able to exercise their political rights.
“We were hoping that the elections would be held within the determined time, but unfortunately, it was decided to postpone it without any convincing justification,” he said.
The parliamentary polls were expected to be held on May 22, while the presidential polls were supposed to take place on July 31 and the Palestinian National Council elections on August 31.