PMW Bulletins
PA forbids Palestinians to seek election or vote in the Jerusalem municipal elections in October
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PA forbids Palestinians to seek election or vote
in the Jerusalem municipal elections in October

By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik
 
The Palestinian Authority wants Palestinians to neither run for election nor to vote when Israel holds Jerusalem municipal elections in October. In fact, the PA’s top religious body has forbidden it in the name of Islam:
 
“The Palestinian Supreme Fatwa Council issued a religious ruling that bans running or voting in the occupation’s municipal elections in occupied Jerusalem... it emphasized that voting or running in the municipal elections is forbidden by religious law, since this matter is subject to the rules of benefit and damage - which the sources of authority for estimating them are the knowledgeable religious scholars who know what the results will be - and there is no doubt at all that the damages that will be caused as a result of the participation are huge compared to the benefits.”
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 31, 2018]
 
The report in the official PA daily on the ruling did not say what will happen to those who violate the prohibition.
 
One such “violator” may be Dr. Ramadan Dabash, a Palestinian from East Jerusalem who has announced he is running in the elections, heading a Palestinian list called “Jerusalem for Jerusalemites.” Dabash has assured that “we are not telling anyone to become Israeli, change their religion, give up the Al-Aqsa Mosque or join the Israeli army,” but he thinks that Palestinians from East Jerusalem should “have a voice on the city council to fight for our rights.” [The Times of Israel, Aug. 2, 2018]
 
After the PA fatwa council announced the ban, Dabash stated that:
 
“Our participation in the election has nothing to do with politics or religion... This so-called fatwa does injustice to the Arab residents of Jerusalem, who are seeking better services and want to improve their living conditions.”
[The Jerusalem Post, July 30, 2018]
 
Palestinian Media Watch has reported on other religious rulings issued by the PA fatwa council, such as prohibiting the selling of land to "the enemy" and eating in public during the month of Ramadan.