The European Union announced on Sunday that Israel had not responded to a request for the entry of its mission to Palestine to observe the upcoming legislative elections. This came a day after the occupation police arrested a number of candidates for the elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council (parliament) in Occupied Jerusalem.
“According to agreements signed with the Palestinians, including the 1995 Oslo agreement, Israel is required to facilitate the holding of the elections, including access and movement of observers as stipulated,”said Shadi Osman, media officer at the Office of the European Union representative in Palestine.
He added that Israel had not responded to a request for a European preparatory mission to monitor the Palestinian elections scheduled for next May.
“Until the moment (yesterday Sunday) Israel had not given a response to the entry of the 4-person preparatory mission,” he said.
He stressed that attempts to be there reply as soon as possible, announcing work on other options in case the reply came running.
The task of the preparatory mission was to prepare the logistics and arrangements required for the attendance of another expanded mission (no request had yet been submitted).
“The expanded mission is supposed to be in Palestine a week before polling day and will include a number of members of the European Parliament and European experts,”he said.
Palestinian undersecretary for Foreign Affairs and expatriates Amal jadu Al-shikaa said that a delegation headed by foreign minister Riad al-Maliki began Sunday a tour of a number of European countries, including Belgium, Britain and Spain, to address the obstacles posed by the occupation in front of the elections.
Speaking to voice of Palestine (official) radio, she said that the tour, which lasts until next Thursday, will include meetings with a number of foreign ministers and European officials, headed by the EU’s Foreign Relations Commissioner Josep Borel.
The most prominent issues raised were violations by the Israeli side of the attempt to obstruct and prevent elections in Jerusalem and its actions towards candidates in the city.
Israel did not respond to a Palestinian request to hold elections in Jerusalem in accordance with agreed mechanisms, under which previous elections were held in the city in 1996, 2005 and 2006.
According to press sources in Jerusalem, the Israeli police prevented the holding of the press conference of the candidates of the Palestinian Democratic Union (Fida), the Palestinian people’s party and Fatah factions for the parliamentary elections scheduled for next May.
The sources pointed out that the holding of the conference was aimed at confirming the candidates from the city of Jerusalem on their position on the need to hold elections in the city and the mechanisms for the participation of the Jerusalemites in it.
The detainees, according to Palestinian state television journalist Christine renawi, are Ashraf Al-Awar and Nasir qus, candidates from the Fatah list, and retiba Al – Nisha from the Palestinian Democratic Union (Fida) list.
Last week, the occupying forces arrested four candidates for the Legislative Council elections, Hassan al-wardiyan from Bethlehem (South) and Najah Assi from Ramallah (Center), both candidates from the Hamas “Al-Quds Ma’mana” list.
The occupation also arrested Ghada Abu Rabie of Jerusalem, a candidate from Fatah’s “storm” list, and Zahir Kamil of Jenin (North), a candidate from the independent “pulse of the country” list, who was later released.
Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem-particularly those belonging to the Palestinian Authority-face severe oversight by the Israeli authorities over their activities and activities; a number of them have been closed down over the past years, most notably Palestine state television.