AL-QUDS (Dispatches) – The Zionist regime’s police have given their first public signal of opposition to the participation of Palestinians from East al-Quds in the May 22 elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Regime authorities issued an order against the Ambassador Hotel, which was hosting an election-related event, demanding the hotel ensured that the event did not happen.
Samer, a receptionist at the hotel, told Arab News that the police came with a written order to close the hall which was expected to hold the meeting. All of those invited were asked not to hold the meeting per the orders of the regime’s police.
Ghada Abu Rabae, a candidate for the Palestinian elections on the official Fatah list, told Arab News that she was given a written order to come to the police station where she was warned not to participate in the elections and then let go.
She later tweeted that the attempts to intimidate Palestinians from al-Quds will not work. "I and all my family and friends will not be discouraged and we will continue to insist on our right to participate in the Palestinian democratic process in al-Quds. Neither their security threats nor intimidation will stop us from insisting that al-Quds is our capital.”
Nader Salaymeh, another Fatah candidate who attended the meeting, told Arab news that the police intervention was a violation of signed agreements.
Legislative elections are scheduled for May 22, with a presidential vote set for July 31.
The Palestinians have not held a vote since 2006, when the Hamas group won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections.
Abbas, who was elected president of the Palestinian Authority following the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004, has not yet declared whether he intends to run again.
His official mandate ran out in 2009 but he has been ruling by decree since then. He has never chosen a successor and several senior members of Fatah are believed to be eyeing the position.
The secular Fatah party, which controls the West Bank, is facing internal challenges from dissident factions, including the Freedom List, led by Nasser al-Qudwa, a nephew of the late Arafat.
Freedom has been endorsed by Marwan Barghouti, a popular leader who is serving multiple life sentences in the occupied territories.