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UN Security Council likely to announce support for Palestinian voting in East Jerusalem

The elections in Palestine could be postponed due to Israeli obstacles [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 April, 2021

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The UN Security Council will hold a session to discuss Israeli violations in Palestine and attempts to prevent voting in East Jerusalem.

The United Nations Security Council will meet on Thursday to discuss upcoming Palestinian elections and to address the issue of Israel preventing residents in occupied East Jerusalem from voting. 

Other issues expected to be discussed include Israeli violations of international law, illegal settlements, and the annexation of Palestinian land

Speaking to Voice of Palestine radio, Riyad Mansour, Permanent Representative of Palestine to the UN, said that the session is vital to highlight Israel's breaches of UN resolutions and international law. 

He added that he will attend a meeting in the next few days with the representative of the UN Secretary-General to the peace process to discuss the issues raised and the need for support from the international community. 

The European Union is expected to announce its support for the Palestinian electoral process and warn Israel it must not try to prevent Palestinians from voting. 

Palestinians are due to vote in legislative elections on 22 May and in presidential elections on 31 July. 

The Palestinian Election Commission is still waiting for Israeli approval of voting sites in occupied East Jerusalem, where Palestinians can cast their vote. 

It is believed that President Mahmoud Abbas could seek to postpone the upcoming election if Israel does not allow voting in East Jerusalem. 

"No Palestinian would accept the bartering of Jerusalem for the election. Jerusalem is a national cause. It is not a technical matter," said a senior Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) official, in a statement to Voice of Palestine.

Current Israeli threats to prevent voting in East Jerusalem mirror actions in the 2006 election, when Israel tried to stop polling stations from operating in the occupied sector of the city 

Read more: How Israel is trying to derail Palestinian elections

Unofficial estimates indicate that around 340,000 Palestinians live in occupied Jerusalem.

In addition to today's session at the UN Security Council, EU foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in May and discuss the issue of voters in East Jerusalem. 

"The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg has placed the issue of obstructing the elections on the agenda of the next meeting of foreign ministers of the European Union, which is scheduled to be held on 10 May," said Palestine's ambassador to the EU, Abdel Rahim Al-Farra.

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