Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday declared a 30-day state of emergency, i24NEWS reports.
The announcement follows Abbas’ decision last week to indefinitely postpone the PA elections, though there is no indication the two are connected, as such declarations have become routine during the coronavirus pandemic.
Abbas officially announced last Thursday night that the Palestinian elections would be postponed, citing Israel’s refusal to allow Arabs residing in eastern Jerusalem to vote.
“We have decided to postpone the election until the participation of our people in Jerusalem is guaranteed,” Abbas said in a speech that aired on PA TV.
Abbas recently issued a decree ordering general elections in PA-assigned territories.
The decree stated that legislative elections would take place on May 22. A “presidential” election was to have taken place on July 31. The decree set a deadline of August 31 for establishing the Palestinian National Council.
The PA has continuously demanded that Israel permit Arabs residing in eastern Jerusalem to vote in the elections. In this regard, PA officials have been working in the international arena in an attempt to get Israel to agree to this demand.
This would not be the first time that the PA has used Israel’s refusal to permit Jerusalem Arabs to vote as an excuse not to hold elections at all.
Hamas, which opposes the postponement of the elections, has threatened a confrontation with the Palestinian Authority in response to the move.
Source: Arutz Sheva