Updated on October 3 at 1:00 p.m. EST
NEWS BRIEF The Palestinian Supreme Court announced Monday municipal elections will be held exclusively in the West Bank, reversing expectations the election would take place throughout the Palestinian territories.
Last month the high court suspended the October 8 municipal elections, citing concerns with voting irregularities in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, as well as the exclusion of East Jerusalem from the electoral process, according to Wafa, the Palestinian Authority’s news agency.
Israel permitted limited voting in East Jerusalem in 2006, the last time elections were held, but in July said it wouldn’t allow elections to take place in areas of Jerusalem deemed under its sovereignty. Israel annexed East Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim as their future capital, following the war of 1967, a move that has not been recognized under international law.
Hamas, which Israel and the U.S. regard as a terrorist group, rejected the court’s decision, calling it discriminatory and politically motivated.
“The high court’s decision to hold elections in the West Bank without Gaza is the politicization of the judiciary and a deepening of division which is unacceptable to the nation,” Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official, said.