This is something that my friend emailed me about what is really happening around the Palestinian elections. I have prepared an audio report on the Palestinian elections, held yesterday, which you can listen to online: here is the script... |
On Sunday January 9, Palestinians held their first presidential election since 1996, electing Mahmoud Abbas as the new Palestinian President, while the Israeli occupation and ongoing military incursions in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip continue.
On Friday the 7th, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon claimed that the army had pulled out of certain areas of the West Bank to facilitate the elections, but the Palestinian Authority countered that there was no evidence of any troop pullout, and checkpoints remained closed. The town of Beta remained under military curfew -- residents there were unable to vote. And residents of the Al-Mawasi area in Khan Younis refugee camp were barred from voting due to a military closure of their area.
Nearly 200,000 Palestinians live in East Jerusalem on the Israeli side of the separation barrier, 160,000 of them are eligible voters -- the largest single bloc of Palestinian voters. In the preparations for Sunday's elections, East Jerusalem saw Israeli obstruction of voter registration, harassment of registrants, confiscation of registration materials, and the arrests of two candidates who tried to campaign there... halfway through the election day, former US President Jimmy Carter accused Israel of obstructing elections in East Jerusalem. Only then did Israeli authorities agree to allow the 160,000 East Jerusalem voters to vote within their city.
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