Israel arrests Palestinian candidates for holding election meeting in Jerusalem
Two of the candidates are on the list of the Fatah party led by President Mahmoud Abbas, and the third is on the list of the Palestinian Democratic Union, according to local sources.
The three candidates attempted to hold a news conference to call on the international community to pressure Israel to allow elections to be held in occupied East Jerusalem, occupied in 1967 but internationally recognised as Palestinian territory.
Wassel Abu Yousef, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) executive committee, said that Abbas will chair a meeting in Ramallah on Sunday to discuss the possibility of enabling Palestinians in East Jerusalem to participate in the elections.
"The PLO and the Palestinian leadership will never accept that the elections are only held in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip without East Jerusalem," he said.
Prior to the 2006 Palestinian elections, Israeli officials tried to obstruct voting in East Jerusalem, which was illegally annexed by in 1967 and is under Israeli civil and military control.
Unofficial estimates indicate that around 340,000 Palestinians live in East Jerusalem.
On Monday, Palestinian political factions unanimously agreed that no election will take place without East Jerusalem residents participating.
Palestinians will head to the polls for the first time in 15 years this summer. The legislative elections are set to take place on 22 May and a presidential vote on 31 July.
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