Targeting Hamas leaders is an Israeli intervention to disrupt the elections

Days of Palestine - Ramallah

Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Hassan Khreisheh, said that the Israeli arrests of some leaders of the Hamas Movement in the occupied West Bank are an early Israeli intervention to prevent influential people from participating in the electoral process scheduled to take place in the next few months.

Khreisheh pointed out, in an interview with "Quds Press", that the Israeli occupation had sent threats to a number of former deputies and leaders of the movement, that they would be in the circle of arrest and imprisonment for many years.

Read More: Israeli forces arrest 3 leaders of Hamas in Hebron

Khreisheh called for the necessity of setting up Palestinian guarantees who have the ability to face this stage, especially since the movement is serious this time in participating in the Palestinian elections.

He added that It seems that the Israeli occupation has agreed to hold the elections, but it wants them exactly according to its size, and therefore the leadership of the movement must be strongly present to bypass the occupation measures.

Read More: A massive campaign of arrests, affecting 21 people in the West Bank, including leaders from Hamas

It is noteworthy that Khreisheh’s talk came in conjunction with a massive campaign of arrests carried out by the Israeli occupation forces against prominent leaders in Hamas, former deputies in the Legislative Council, and ex-prisoners over the past week, during which houses were demolished.

He affirmed that there are no real guarantees until the moment for acceptance of the results of the upcoming elections, despite the fact that they were the result of a consensus between the two movements during the past few months, explaining what the Palestinian community has been suffering during the past 15 years from the division between the West Bank and Gaza.

From Khreisheh’s point of view, the results of today's elections will not be the same as before, adding that the next Legislative Council will be multiple, not as it was in 2006, and this time there are other Arab countries that interfere with the scene today and complicate it to a large extent, and the occupation, on the other hand, is trying to the obstacle of the experience of the past elections.

He warned that the call for the current elections came as a result of great external pressure, whether from European countries, or interlocking Arab regional alliances with each other, in addition to the urgent need to renew Palestinian legitimacy.

He continued that there is a specific goal of these elections, which is that they are not primarily parliamentary but rather political, which means bringing all Palestinians to the square of settlement with the occupation, which the President of the Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, is aggressively seeking, so it is either a real revolution to change the Palestinian reality or a loss of Palestinian rights. 

He also pointed out that some people inside the occupied West Bank try from time to time to disrupt the election environment, adding that if the leadership of Fatah and Hamas do not have the real will to cut off the road to this group, then the Palestinian situation will not change, and it will continue to deteriorate.

On the same topic, he indicated that the electoral map for each party has become known to everyone, and everyone is currently seeking to obtain many votes and alliances, but the mentality will not change from what it was in 2006.

He continued that the arrests today are a repeat of a previous experience, where the occupation forces arrested most of the Hamas representatives, but they were not affected and remained tall in the face of the arrogance of the occupier.

He added that as long as the occupation exists, the arrests will continue, and the occupation is currently targeting influential people and activists from the movement inside their residential areas to prevent them from participating in the upcoming electoral process.

He explained that the reactions of Hamas to the arrests are not being heard, adding that the basic principle regarding the issue of Palestinian arrests is that it is a national demand against which everyone stands, and the basic principle is that whoever coordinates with the Israeli occupation is entitled to demand it to stop interfering with these elections by obstructing supporters and Hamas leaders in active participation.

Palestinian elections are scheduled to take place in 3 stages during the current year, legislative on May 22, presidential on July 31, and elections to the National Council (outside Palestine) on August 31.


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