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PA threats succeed: Only 1.5% of Jerusalem Arabs vote in elections
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PA threats succeed: Only 1.5% of Jerusalem Arabs vote in elections

Fatah to boycotters of municipal election:
You are "the heroes of Jerusalem!"
 
  • Fatah spokesman implies Palestinians prepared to use violence to "defend" and "liberate" Jerusalem:
  • "Jerusalem - with everything in it - was and will remain the capital of the State of Palestine, and we will defend it at all costs. All of us, Muslims and Christians alike, will say the victory prayer in Jerusalem, the liberated capital, Allah willing."
By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Following Tuesday's municipal elections in Israel, Abbas' Fatah Movement thanked Arabs in Jerusalem who gave in to the PA's threats, including the PA's religious ruling (fatwa) which - in the name of Islam - prohibited participation in the Jerusalem elections. Only 1.5% of the Arabs exercised their right to vote, following the PA's orders not to endorse the rule of "the occupation."

The complete boycott by Arabs is in all likelihood the results of the threats and pressure by the PA and not the result of Jerusalem's Arabs wishing to protest Israeli rule.
A poll by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion found in 2015 that 52% of Jerusalem's Arabs said they "would prefer to be citizens of Israel," as opposed to 42% who wished to be "citizens of a Palestinian state." With more than half of Jerusalem Arabs desiring to be citizens of Israel, in all likelihood the 98.5% boycott of the recent elections was a result of fear due to the PA's repeated threats.

Fatah, however, ignoring the actual wishes of the Arab residents as shown in the poll's findings, is turning the boycott into a statement against Israeli sovereignty. Fatah's spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi said that the boycott of the elections shows that Palestinians are even prepared to "defend it at all costs," a common Palestinian euphemism for violence and terror. He also anticipates "victory" for "Muslims and Christians" in "liberating" the city:

"Jerusalem - with everything in it - was and will remain the capital of the State of Palestine, and we will defend it at all costs. All of us, Muslims and Christians alike, will say the victory prayer in Jerusalem, the liberated capital, Allah willing.'"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 31, 2018]

Palestinian Media Watch has reported on numerous statements by PA and Fatah leaders using the term "defend at all costs" and similar terms which were meant to incite violence and understood as such by Palestinians.

Fatah "blessed" the non-voters as "heroes" and said they had sent "a strong message" that Jerusalem "was and is purely Arab-Palestinian."

"Fatah blesses the heroes of Jerusalem, who emphasized its Arab and Palestinian identity...
The iron commitment of the Canaanite owners of the land, the residents of Jerusalem, to boycott the elections conveys a strong and clear message: Despite all the attempts to forge history... the members of our splendid people in Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine, have proven through their national awareness that they are unified against the plans that target their history, their present, their future, their holy sites, and all the elements of their cultural heritage, and that the national memory is much stronger than their failed attempts to erase it."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 31, 2018]

PMW has documented that the PA has constructed a false Palestinian narrative, which claims there is no Jewish history in Jerusalem or anywhere else in the area, and that Israel falsifies "Palestinian antiquities" to make them appear Jewish. Israel has even been accused of "stealing the falafel." Furthermore, the PA claims Israel targets the Muslim and Christian holy sites, and that Jews "defile" them.

The following is a longer excerpt of Fatah's reaction to the Arab boycott of the elections in Jerusalem:
Headline: "Fatah blesses the heroes of Jerusalem, who emphasized its Arab and Palestinian identity"
"The Fatah Movement saluted with honor and appreciation 'the members of our people and our heroes, the residents of Jerusalem, who have proven for the 1,001st time that Jerusalem, with its residents, alleys, mosques, and churches, is purely Arab-Palestinian - thus it was and thus it will remain.'
[Fatah] Revolutionary Council member and [Fatah] Movement Spokesman Osama Al-Qawasmi said in a press release last night [Oct. 30, 2018] in response to the Jerusalem residents' complete boycott what is called 'the Jerusalem municipal elections': 'The iron commitment of the Canaanite owners of the land, the residents of Jerusalem, to boycott the elections conveys a strong and clear message: Despite all the attempts to forge history... the members of our splendid people in Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine, have proven through their national awareness that they are unified against the plans that target their history, their present, their future, their holy sites, and all the elements of their cultural heritage, and that the national memory is much stronger than their failed attempts to erase it.'
Al-Qawasmi again spoke about Fatah's resolve, which cannot be changed in any way: 'Jerusalem - with everything in it - was and will remain the capital of the State of Palestine, and we will defend it at all costs. All of us, Muslims and Christians alike, will say the victory prayer in Jerusalem, the liberated capital, Allah willing.'"
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Oct. 31, 2018]