06:29 GMT +320 January 2020
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    GAZA (Sputnik) – Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has called on the world community to exert pressure on Israel so that Palestinian citizens residing in East Jerusalem can vote in the planned presidential election.

    "The only problem is Israel, which refuses to hold elections in Jerusalem, the capital of the state of Palestine. We will never hold elections without a vote in Jerusalem. We ask the entire world to exert pressure on Israel to hold elections", Abbas said, as quoted by the Palestine News Agency on Tuesday.

    Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas pledged to convene elections speaking at the 74th UN General Assembly in September. The date has not been set yet.

    In December, Abbas said he was delaying the elections until Israel issues an official approval to allow Palestinians living in East Jerusalem to participate in planned general and presidential elections. The Palestinian authorities plan to hold a general election first, and a presidential one immediately after. 

    The last Palestinian presidential and general elections took place in 2005 and 2006, respectively. However, the prospects for a new Palestinian vote have become increasingly unlikely due to the ongoing antagonism between the Hamas movement and the internationally recognised Fatah political party. The latter has been Hamas' main political rival in the Gaza Strip.

    Jerusalem was to become a separate entity governed by a special international regime, according to the 1947 United Nations Resolution 181. Israel and Jordan took control over the city's western and eastern parts before Israel achieved full control over the city in the Six-Day War in 1967.

    In 1980, Israel passed a law recognising Jerusalem as its capital. In 2017, US President Trump announced the US's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and issued the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city. The decision has sparked outrage from the Arab world, as well as from many members of the international community.

    UN General Assembly, pressure, presidential election, Palestinians, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine, Israel
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