GENEVA – The Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties (GCRL) condemns the Israeli forces’ arrest, the summoning of candidates in the Palestinian legislative election, and the prevention of a consultative meeting about the elections in the West Bank.
The Israeli forces arrested Hassan Mohammed Ali Wardyan,58, the candidate the on “Jerusalem Is Our Promise” list, after raiding and searching his home in Bethlehem, in the southern West Bank, yesterday, Tuesday, April 6, 2021. He is considered the first candidate for the upcoming legislative elections to be arrested by the Israeli forces. Wardian was summoned on March 18, as part of an Israeli campaign of summonses of Palestinian personalities and former lawmakers, threatening them to be excluded from running or working in the election campaign.
The Council has learned that the deputy deported from Jerusalem to Ramallah, Mohammed Mahmoud Abu Tir, a candidate on the list of Al-Quds is Our Destiny”, was summoned by the Israeli forces. The Occupation Forces also sent candidates Nasser Mohammed Musa Qas (Candidate No. 17) and Ghada Mohammed Sami Abu Rabei(Candidate No. 118), summon notices, asking them to attend the Israeli intelligence at the “Al-Maskobiyya” investigation center, in addition to summoning other activists from the Fatah movement.
The Israeli forces also arrested Adel Abu Zneid (director of Fatah movement’s district office in Jerusalem) and Sami Abu Daiya (manager of the Ambassador Hotel in Sheikh Jarrah) and summoned others. This came after the Israeli authorities had prevented a consultative meeting about the elections, organized by civil society institutions in Jerusalem, imposing a security cordon around the place and preventing anyone to enter the hotel.
These developments come at a time when Israel continues not to announce its consent to holding Palestinian elections in Jerusalem, which threatens to disrupt the elections that have been stalled for more than 10 years.
GCRL believes that the Israeli systematic policy of arresting and summoning candidates, as well as campaign workers and threatening them, represents a flagrant interference in the Palestinian democratic process and an attempt to influence the election results.
The Geneva Council expresses its grave concern over Israel’s continuing intransigence and the failure to allow the elections to take place in East Jerusalem, despite that the campaigning will start on April 30, until the polling date on May 22, which could lead to the disruption of the elections.
GCRL strongly condemns all the Israeli decisions and obstacles and calls on the European Union as well as the entire international community to intervene urgently to stop Israeli violations, guarantee the Palestinians’ right to political participation, and the right to self-determination without discrimination or restrictions.