European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Friday condemned the decision by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to delay long-awaited polls.
“The decision to postpone the planned Palestinian elections, including the legislative elections originally scheduled for 22 May, is deeply disappointing,” Borrell said in a statement.
Abbas blamed Israel for uncertainty about whether it would allow the legislative election to proceed in Jerusalem as well as in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.
“We strongly encourage all Palestinian actors to resume efforts to build on the successful talks between the factions over recent months. A new date for elections should be set without delay.”
Abbas said the elections — the first since 2006 — had been postponed until there was a guarantee from Israel that voting could take place in east Jerusalem.
“We reiterate our call on Israel to facilitate the holding of such elections across all of the Palestinian territory, including in east Jerusalem,” Borrell said.
He called for “calm and restraint from all actors at this sensitive time.”
“We firmly believe that strong, inclusive, accountable, and functioning democratic Palestinian institutions based on respect for the rule of law and human rights are vital for the Palestinian people, for democratic legitimacy and, ultimately, for the two-state solution,” he added.