Coalition for Jerusalem - Publications

Monday, February 06, 2006

Communiqué # 4 (18/1/2006)

Palestinian Legislative Council Elections in Occupied East Jerusalem (OEJ)
Palestinian Voters in OEJ left in Limbo

4 days separate us from the Second Palestinian Legislative Council Elections, and the voters in OEJ are in the dark about the election arrangements. There is a black out on negotiations that are taking place between the Israeli Authorities and the Palestinian Central Election Committee (CEC) regarding these arrangements: such as increasing the number of electors who are allowed to vote, (at the present 5676 out of 120,000 eligible voters are allowed to vote), The right to vote on the bases of the Jerusalem ID card since Israel refused to allow registration of voters, the shape of the “receptacle”, i.e. the ballot Box, the intimidation of candidates by the Israeli Police, and the arrest of a number of them during campaigning and the Israeli measures of intimidations of the voters on the Election Day.

The Jerusalem voters are in LIMBO. There is no room for optimism left. Their experience with such negotiations are bad, since Israel violates all agreements and dictate its terms as has been the fate of The Oslo Agreement Annex II Article VI which became the Unilateral Israeli arrangements referred to as 1996 Election arrangements.
Israel violates all agreements and implements its Agendas Unilaterally.

The Israeli Government refuses to consider the Palestinian National Authority a partner in the peace negotiations, and refuses to re-open any political negotiations, on any issue with it. Often, it meets with the Palestinian negotiators to ask them to execute “Israeli Government” orders. When the United States Government exert pressure on the Israeli Government to enter into any political negotiations, the Israeli officials meet ceremonially with the PNA negotiators to get the press, and thereafter they try to overwhelm the Palestinian negotiators in side issues in order to sidestep the main issues, until Israel is able to dictate its terms. The immaculate example on the above is Ariel Sharon’s total disregard to the internationally supported Road Map, and his development of his own Map; “Sharon’s Map” to dictate his terms unilaterally, without talking to the PNA. The Israeli unilateral withdrawal from Gaza is just one example.

The fate of the present negotiations about the modalities Palestinian voting in OEJ, which started on January 16, 2006, will not be different. Even though Israel seemingly succumbed to the pressure of the United States to hold the Palestinian legislative Council Elections in OEJ according to the Oslo Agreement signed of 1995 and the 1996 election procedures precedence. And, submitted to open negotiations with the Palestinian Central Election Committee (CEC) officials on such modalities. Yet, until yesterday, the Israeli officials centered the negotiations on “Hamas participation in the election” in OEJ and sidestepped all the other important issues mentioned above.

The Coalition Statement
Hamas has made public pronouncements that it will continue to struggle against occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, not in Israel (a right secured by International Law and conventions). Israel remains an Occupying Power. We are not supporters of any political party that is running in the Palestinian Elections, but feel that Israel will use the issue of Hamas to disrupt the negotiations on election in OEJ.
Israel purposely drags the negotiations on in order to keep the Palestinian voter in the dark and confused, and does not know what to expect and where to go. This helps Israel to claim that the Palestinians in Jerusalem refuse to vote in the Palestinian elections
We request that a public pronouncement about the outcome of the negotiations be made tomorrow at the latest
The American Government and the other members of the Quartet has the responsibility to assure for us a general, free fair and transparent per the Road Map.

For further information, please contact: The Jerusalem Committee of the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations (PNGO) - Jerusalem, Tel: 02 6562272. Fax: 02-6562271. Mobile: 054-4653160. Email: