No election without Jerusalem participation, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pledges
Speaking at a meeting in the Fatah Central Committee in Ramallah, Abbas urged that no elections will take place unless Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem are able to run as candidates, cast their ballots, and hold electoral gatherings.
He added that Jerusalem is a red line for Palestinians and praised the steadfastness of Jerusalemites amid Israeli aggression on the occupied city.
"The elections must take place in Jerusalem, our eternal capital, and its people should be allowed to become candidates, vote and take part in campaigns. Anything other than this means returning to the Deal of the Century," a Fatah statement after the meeting said, referring to Donald Trump's widely-rejected peace plan.
The Fatah Central Committee is the party's highest decision-making body.
Israel has yet to approve Palestinian activities in occupied East Jerusalem and has crashed several electoral meetings and arrested candidates in the occupied city over the last few weeks.
Prior to the 2006 Palestinian elections, Israeli officials tried to obstruct voting in East Jerusalem, which was illegally annexed by Israel in 1967 and still under its control.
The Oslo agreement of 1995 divided the occupied West Bank into three zones: Area A, Area B and Area C.
Area A is under the administrative and security control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Area B's administration is controlled by the PA, with Israel controlling security. Area C is under full administrative and security control of Israel.
While East Jerusalem falls under Area C, some outskirts of the city are outside of the separation barrier, which means they are not under Israel's administrative control and are able to participate freely, as opposed to their inner-city counterparts.
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.