Israel accused of obstructing Palestinian elections 2006-01-02 18:34:26

RAMALLAH, Jan. 2 (Xinhuanet) -- Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat accused Israel on Monday of obstructing Palestinian legislative elections due on Jan. 25.

Erekat told Palestinian radio Voice of Palestine that the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) hasn't get any Israeli response on allowing Palestinians to vote in East Jerusalem as the election campaigns will start on Tuesday.

"We didn't get responses on forming a Palestinian-Israeli joint committee to follow up and observe the operation of distributing ballots, voting and the movement of voters as well as candidates," Erekat said.

He said the PNA insists on holding the elections as scheduled with all Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem to vote.

He also called on the European Union and the international community to oblige Israel to carry out its commitments on the upcoming elections.

However, senior officials from the ruling Fatah movement said on Sunday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas should postpone the elections if Israel bars voting in East Jerusalem.

Fatah Central Committee member Abbas Zaki told reporters on Sunday that most committee members signed an internal memo which will be submitted to Abbas, recommending postponement of the elections if Israel bans polling in East Jerusalem.