Palestinian Authority postpones municipal elections till 2017

The Palestinian unity government formed April 2014

The Palestinian Authority has suspended its upcoming municipal elections “until further notice”, after announcing earlier this week that elections would be held in four months time. The elections will reportedly be held in 2017.

The Palestinian Authority made the decision to not only postpone municipal elections, but also limit the elections to the West Bank after numerous polls showed Hamas winning the elections. The decision to limit the elections to West Bank residents only took place one day after the elections were postponed. Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah stated that the decision was made as “a commitment to the general interest of the people.”

The Palestinians have not held elections in over a decade, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas deciding earlier this year to hold elections and allow both Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to vote on the same day.

Hamas rejected the decision, a spokesman for the terrorist organization, Sami Abu Zuhri, stating “Hamas rejects the court’s decision that divides the Palestinian people and will consult with other factions on how to confront it.” The terrorist organization released the statement “Hamas rejects any postponement of the elections and is insistent that they be held,” referring to the decision by the Authority as an “evasion of electoral rights for the benefit of Fatah’s partisan interests.”

Nickolay Mladenov, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, condoned the decision, stating earlier this week “I welcome today’s decision to postpone local elections. It is in the national interest of the Palestinian people that when such elections take place, they be organized both in the West Bank and Gaza. I urge all Palestinian bodies to work together in good faith to overcome internal divisions and uphold democracy.”

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, October 5, 2016, and reposted with permission.