Amid massive protests in a number of Palestinian cities against the postponement of the Palestinian elections, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas decided, on Thursday evening, to postpone the elections scheduled for next May, which represents a departure from the consensus of the Palestinian factions in Cairo, and a coup against the democratic process that the Palestinians are looking for it after about 15 years of Abbas rule, in violation of the Palestinian Basic Law.
Leader of the Democratic Reformists within Fatah Movement Mohammad Dahlan said in a press statement that postponing the legislative elections is an illegal decision issued by a president who has lost legitimacy for a decade, and it is a dangerous decision that exposes the present and future of the Palestinian people to the unknown.
He added that the motives of this decision are exposed and known, and have nothing to do with Jerusalem.
He continued saying that a fair democracy fits for our people, and therefore the whole world is required to condemn this decision and stop providing the diplomatic and financial cover for this corrupt dictatorship.
Dahlan said that the whole world should realize that this decision contradicts the law and challenges the will of the vast masses of Palestinians who have updated their statements in preparation and eagerness to exercise their sacred patriotic right to choose their leadership for the next stage of the national struggle, through a process.
Dahlan said that continuing to deal with the authority and government of Abbas means ignoring all the values of law and democracy and striking them against the wall, and constitutes the consecration of the power of a dictator who tries to confiscate the rights of an entire people.
Dahlan warned of the dangers of the coming stage, and we hold Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli entity responsible for the possible repercussions of this dangerous decision, and we call on our people to move widely and continuously along the map of the Palestinian deployment, especially in the homeland, in order to drop this suspicious decision and nullify its reactions.
He added that “All our people insist on the participation of Jerusalem, our eternal capital, in these elections, but an authoritarian team links Jerusalem participation with obtaining Israeli approval and through security coordination, while we see, like all blocs and the masses of Palestinians, that this participation is achieved by imposing it on the ground by the force of the popular will and not begging for the occupation Israeli.”
The Palestinian Hamas movement, which governs the besieged Gaza Strip, has slammed President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to delay parliamentary polls that were scheduled to take place on May 22.
Late on Thursday, President Abbas announced the postponement, citing Israel’s rejection of allowing elections to be held in occupied East Jerusalem. He stressed, however, that once Israel permits elections in Jerusalem, he will hold the polls “within a week”.
“We received with regret the Fatah [group] and Palestinian Authority’s decision represented through its chairman, Mr Mahmoud Abbas, to disrupt the Palestinian elections,” the Hamas group said in a statement.
It said it held the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah fully responsible for the postponement and its repercussions, considering such a step “a coup against the path of national partnership and consensus”.
The statement said Hamas had boycotted the meeting, as “it knew earlier that the PA and Fatah are heading to disrupt the elections for other calculations not related to Jerusalem”.
Ziyad Al-Nakhalah, Secretary-General of the Palestinian Jihad Movement, called all Palestinian forces to an urgent meeting to agree on a national program to face the occupation.
“What is happening affirms that the resistance against the Israeli occupation is the constant reality that everyone should deal with seriously and not skip from it,” Al-Nakhala said.
Al-Nakhala stressed that the Palestinian still live under occupation, despite the manifestations of the illusory authority that we see in the security and police services.
He explained that these agencies are working day and night on cooperation with the enemy, under the illusion that security coordination may convince the enemy to grant us a state.
He expressed his strong rejection of trying to live with the occupation through elections, pointing out that previous facts, since Oslo Accords were signed, have proven that these are just false illusions.
Al-Nakhala called on all parties to meet immediately instead of statements and protests, demanding that there be only one item on the agenda of this meeting, which is that we are under occupation and we have to agree on a national program commensurate, and any other option is a waste of time and effort.
Tayseer Khaled, a member of the Political Democratic Front for Liberation of Palestine, affirmed his opposition to postpone the elections to the Legislative Council and thus the presidential and Palestinian National Council elections, he considered the postponement decision a big waste for all efforts that have been made over a year since the meeting with the Secretaries General in order to close end the division and restore the unity of the political system.
Khaled pointed that the decision to postpone the elections was a real shock to the Palestinian public opinion, who wagered that these elections, with their three parties, would be an entry point to end the division and restore the unity of the Palestinian political system and important step on to build a pluralistic democratic system of government and new political balances that revive hope among citizens.
He added that the decision to postpone the elections with justifications was based on which gives the occupation a veto on holding elections not only in Jerusalem, but also in the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories after the 1967 aggression, and that the most appropriate in dealing with such a situation is the rebellion against Oslo and the attached protocol about the elections in Jerusalem, starting the Electoral campaigning in Jerusalem and continue to do so regardless of the sacrifices.
Also, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine rejected the decision and called for adherence to national agreements to hold the elections, adding that it will seek all means to reverse the decision to postpone the vote.
The Palestinian leadership does not subjugate its decision regarding the elections with the approval of the occupation to take place in the city of Jerusalem. Rather, it seeks to impose it as a form of engagement management over its Arab identity. The elections in Jerusalem or anywhere in Palestine do not require an “Israeli” permission.
Added: “The expected negative repercussions of the decision to postpone the elections require everyone to have a responsible national treatment, especially as it stops the reconciliation process and efforts to end the division, which exhausts Palestinian society, and gives Israel the chance to complete its settler project in our land.
The Popular Front also warned against resorting to any decisions or measures to escape the repercussions of the decision, which could contribute to the continuation of the state of division as it is and even deepen it, calling also refusing to respond to the conditions of the Quartet by returning to negotiations.
Nour Odeh, spokeswoman for the Freedom List headed by Nasser Al-Qudwa, said in a press statement: “We reject the postponement of the elections and consider it a political setback that contradicts our people’s demands to hold elections and confirms the urgent need for deep change in the Palestinian political system.”
Odeh stressed that “the right of our people to choose their representatives must be subject only to the Palestinian well, and that our people have their political and national rights in Jerusalem that affirms that Jerusalem is ours despite the aggressive and illegal occupation practices.”
The Palestinian National Initiative movement and its list of the Palestinian National Initiative “for Change and End the Division” announced its rejection of the decision to postpone the Palestinian elections and called for a retraction and insistence on holding the elections on time, including in the city of Jerusalem.
Al-Mubadara said in a statement “We reject the occupation’s decisions and reject its plot to exclude Jerusalem from the elections to pass the deal of the century, but we also refuse to give the occupation the right to veto the Palestinian democratic elections. Therefore, we reiterate our position on the necessity of holding elections in Jerusalem despite the occupation’s pressure and make it a battle of resistance, and away for national unity in the face of the occupation”.
Al-Mubadara affirmed that the presidential, legislative elections and the National Council are a right for the people before they are a right for the factions, forces and lists. Conducting democratic elections and making them an opportunity to unify the national ranks in the face of the occupation.
For its part, the Popular Resistance Committees in Palestine affirmed, in a statement, that the Zionist occupation should not be given an excuse to postpone the elections or to interfere in the internal affairs of our people, in light of the state of national consensus on ending the division, achieving national reconciliation and not obey the Zionist threats to restore our unity.
For its part, the Protection Center for Human Rights denounced the decision of the President Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, issued on Thursday 04/29/2021 “to postpone the Palestinian elections in their three stages in the Palestinian territories, which was scheduled to held the legislative elections on May 22nd.
The Protection Center for Human Rights, in the context of following with great interest the procedures for holding legislative elections, expresses its disapproval of Mr. “Abbas” decision, which affects the right of the Palestinian citizens through legislative texts and international agreements, as the Palestinian Basic Law stipulates that: “The citizens are the source of powers and they use it through Legislative, executive, and judicial authorities based on the principle of separation of powers, and to have the right to “vote in elections to choose representatives from among them who are elected by universal suffrage in according to the law.”
The Protection Center for Human Rights stresses on the importance of the electoral process and the necessity to hold it in all the Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, where the “elections” were supposed to be established to end the division and restore the Palestinian political system.
The Center believes that it would have been better for Mr. Abbas to discuss with the Palestinian factions a compromise mechanism through which Jerusalemites would be able vote, not eliminate the democratic process.
Abbas calls for reconsidering the decision to postpone and work with all parties in order to pressure the occupation to hold the elections and end its monopoly, he also calls the international parties sponsoring understandings to hold elections to clarify their position on this decision.