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Israel ignores visa requests from EU delegation aiming to observe Palestine elections

April 1, 2021 at 9:41 am

Security measures are taken in front of Central Election Commission building after Palestinian authorities on Saturday opened registration for the legislative elections, scheduled for 22 May in Gaza City, Gaza on March 20, 2021. [Mustafa Hassona – Anadolu Agency]

The EU on Tuesday accused Israel of ignoring its repeated requests to grant visas to its delegation who intend to observe the upcoming Palestinian elections.

In a press conference held in the headquarters of the Palestinian Central Elections Committee in occupied Ramallah, EU Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff said: “The delay has considerably reduced the EU option to observe the 22 May legislative elections.”

The Central Elections Committee formally asked the EU to help monitor the election immediately after Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas ordered elections be held.

“The EU is strongly determined to support the upcoming Palestinian Elections, in particular by ensuring adequate EU observer presence,” Burgsdorff said.

Meanwhile, RT reported Israeli Hebrew newspaper Maariv saying that Israel had decided to prevent EU observers from reaching Jerusalem due to the measures taken to COVID-19 restrictions.

According to Maariv, Israel said that the residents of the city would not be able to cast their votes due to the measures related to fighting coronavirus.

This could be a reason to postpone the elections, according to Rai Al-Youm, which reported statements issued by Abbas’ office that “there will be no elections without Jerusalem.”

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