The Palestinian Authority (PA) has officially asked the Israeli government to allow east Jerusalem-based Palestinians to vote in the upcoming general elections reportedly slated for the upcoming year.
In his annual speech before the U.N. General Assembly in September, the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas voiced his intention to call for general elections in the Palestinian territories. Abbas' speech was followed by shuttle diplomacy held by the head of the Palestinian electoral commission, Hanna Naser, in between the Gaza Strip and West Bank. His efforts targeted to bring the views of Palestinian rivals, Fatah and Hamas, together before heading to the general polls.
Hamas, via many of its spokesmen, said they were "well prepared" for any elections and called for simultaneous parliament and presidential polls with its leader Ismail Haniyyeh, affirming to the electoral commission that his group – Gaza Strip's de facto ruler – would do everything to secure the holding of these elections in the blockaded coastal enclave.
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