Abbas said set to pledge Palestinian elections at United Nations assembly
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Abbas said set to pledge Palestinian elections at United Nations assembly

PA president will ask UN to provide international protection for parliamentary vote, which was last held in 2006, senior aide says

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas arrives for the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters, September 24, 2019. (Craig Ruttle/AP)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas arrives for the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at UN headquarters, September 24, 2019. (Craig Ruttle/AP)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will renew a pledge to hold fresh parliamentary elections in a speech to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, a senior official said.

Abbas will say that “after he returns to Palestine he will call parliamentary elections and specify a date and begin formal preparations,” Ahmed Majdalani, a senior Palestinian official and Abbas aide, told AFP on Wednesday.

Abbas, 84, has made similar pledges in recent years, but no Palestinian parliamentary elections have taken place since 2006.

Those elections, which were surprisingly won by Islamist terror group Hamas, eventually led to a dramatic split, with Hamas seizing control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Since then Hamas and Abbas’s Fatah faction have traded accusations of blame over the lack of elections.

In December 2018 Abbas pledged to hold parliamentary elections within six months.

Majdalani said Abbas would also call for more support for Palestinians from the international community in his speech.

“He will demand that the UN decide to provide international protection to the Palestinian people under (Israeli) occupation,” Majdalani said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who usually makes a point of attending the annual gathering of world leaders, will not be there this year as he is remaining in Israel to hold coalition talks in the wake of a general election that resulted in a political deadlock.

It will be the first time Netanyahu has skipped the General Assembly since 2010, when then-foreign minister and current political nemesis Avgidor Liberman addressed world leaders at the forum. Foreign Minister Israel Katz is expected to address the international body on Thursday.

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