EU's Borrell slams Palestinian poll delay

EU's Borrell slams Palestinian poll delay
The EU foreign policy chief called for Israel to allow Palestinians living in annexed east Jerusalem to vote.
2 min read
Borrell called the decision 'deeply disappointing' [Getty]
EU 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. 

"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 voting can take place in Israeli-annexed 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.

Israel has illegally occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Authorities annexed east Jerusalem shortly afterwards, sending hundreds of thousands of settlers to live there in contravention of international law and evicting Palestinians from their homes in an attempt to alter the demographic make-up of the holy city.

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