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PA’s top envoy heading abroad to urge European counterparts to push Israel to allow elections in East Jerusalem

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki will visit a number of European capitals in the coming days to discuss the scheduled Palestinian elections, his office says in a statement.

The Palestinians are scheduled to head to national legislative elections for the first time in 15 years on May 22, although it is still possible that Ramallah — fearing a loss to its key rival, Hamas — could delay or cancel the vote.

Al-Maliki is expected to urge his European counterparts to pressure Israel to allow the Palestinian vote to be conducted freely, including in East Jerusalem, according to the PA Foreign Ministry.

Palestinian officials have regularly said that no elections will be held without the participation of East Jerusalem Palestinians. Israel is unlikely to grant such a request, leading to speculation that Ramallah may use the matter as an excuse to cancel the impending elections.

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