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PA’s Abbas heightens security alert level

April 30, 2021 at 9:13 am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank on 20 May 2020 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has instructed leaders of the Palestinian security services to raise the state of alert and prepare for the possibility of confrontations in the West Bank ahead of the expected announcement that parliamentary elections are being postponed, Israel’s Channel 12 reported.

“Abu Mazen [Abbas] is trying to hold Israel responsible for cancelling the elections, even though it did not issue an official position and only rejected verbally the participation of Jerusalem residents in the elections,” the channel said.

“Abu Mazen knows very well that these elections will cause a political catastrophe for [his party] Fatah, based on estimates that the movement will not win, which prompted him to send his associates [Minister of Civil Affairs] Hussein Al-Sheikh to Qatar and [General Intelligence Services chief] Majed Faraj to Egypt to put pressure Hamas and persuade it not to escalate matters,” it added.

Hamas’ victory in the elections, the channel military correspondent said, would strengthen its position in the West Bank, which is a disaster for Israel.

He explained that a few days ago the Israeli army raised its state of alert and strengthened the presence of its forces in the occupied West Bank and deployed the Iron Dome defence system along the fence with the besieged Gaza Strip for fear of escalations.

Hamas: External pressure to blame for plans to halt elections