Haniya: Israel Thwarts Presidential Elections in Palestine

Haniya: Israel Thwarts Presidential Elections in Palestine

 Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya stated that it may be difficult to hold the Presidential elections in Palestine according to plan in May 2012, for three reasons.

Speaking on Egyptian television, Haniya explained: "First, Jerusalem is an integral part of Palestine and must be included in the Palestinian elections; we cannot run the elections without it. Second, it is important that the appropriate electoral atmosphere be provided. Third, residents must be registered; and this has not been done for over five years because of the division of the West Bank and Gaza. There is no unified registry to both".

The Palestinian PM said that, every day, he thinks about visiting Jerusalem and the West Bank. However, he is banned from doing so by the Israeli Occupation. He added: "I have not been allowed to visit the Aqsa Mosque since 1986".

Regarding Palestinian reconciliation efforts, Haniya said that although the “wheel of reconciliation is already moving”, they are currently facing numerous challenges both domestic and foreign. However, Haniya asserted that they are working hard to restore unity and end current division.

Praising Egypt, the PM stressed, "Egypt has not changed and will not change. I have repeatedly said that its people have never been involved in Gaza’s blockade. They never consented to or supported the war on Gaza. The corrupt former regime was responsible for failing Gaza repeatedly".

He continued, "Following its revolution, Egypt has been able to restore the leading spirit in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which is the third time for the PLO to be born or reborn in Cairo. It was first formed in 1964, in Cairo. Its first rebirth, in 1969, was also in Cairo. And now, yet again in 2012, it is reborn in Cairo".

Haniya stressed that Egypt is much better now after the revolution, and that it will definitely address the Palestinian issue in a better way than ever before.

The Palestinian PM stressed that the Palestinians need Egypt and its government to nurture and care for them politically, morally and economically. He expressed his pleasure at the people’s warm reception during his visit to Egypt and the Azhar Mosque on Friday.