Haniyeh: Delaying Elections Has No Credible Justification

Head of Hamas politburo Ismail Haniyeh slammed late Friday a decision by Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas to postpone elections in the country, saying such decision has no credible justification.

In a televised interview, Haniyeh said it was “unfortunate” that Abbas decided not to hold elections with Jerusalem excluded from 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 said.

“As Hamas, we say that the elections should be held in Al-Quds (Jerusalem). We agree on this,” he said, touching on the importance of Al-Quds. “Neither the state nor Palestine has any meaning for us without Al-Quds. Al-Quds has many political, social, religious, and cultural dimensions.”

The difference of opinion is not based on holding elections in Al-Quds but on Palestine’s decision being attached to the Zionist entity, he said.

According to Haniyeh, the Palestinians insist on holding the elections in Al-Quds. He noted that there is still time to do so and that the people in Al-Quds 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.

Haniyeh, meanwhile, warned that the postponing of elections could return Palestinian domestic politics to where it started, noting that as Hamas, they want Palestine not to return to internal political conflicts, but to continue dialogue and reconciliation.

The elections are a necessity in tackling the dangers awaiting the Palestinian issue, such as the so-called deal of the century, and Israeli annexation plan, he stressed.

“We have always thought that the division should be ended. We thought it was necessary to establish partnerships in the Palestinian institutions [the Palestine Liberation Organization, the legislative council, the government, and the presidency] and to combat the dangers awaiting the Palestinian cause, he said.

“The process of national unity was not limited to elections. In this process, we agreed on a partnership in the whole Palestinian political system,” Haniyeh added.

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