RAMALLAH, Jan. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- Palestinian Foreign Minister Nasser al-Qedwa threatened on Friday that the upcoming Palestinian legislative elections would be cancelled if Israel insists on banning voting in East Jerusalem.
Qedwa said at a news briefing held in the West Bank city of Ramallah that the Palestinian leadership headed by President Mahmoud Abbas is serious to scrap the Jan. 25 elections if Israel bans the polls in East Jerusalem.
"Palestinians living in East Jerusalem must participate in the elections, which is a major condition to holding the ballot, and if Israel is determined to obstruct it, Israel will be blamed for violating the international law and obstructing the Palestinian democratic process," Qedwa added.
In addition, the minister criticized some Palestinian factions, in reference to the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), for calling for holding the elections only in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Qedwa made the remarks following repeated similar threats fro mother Palestinian leaders recently.
The fresh threat came as the Israeli cabinet is scheduled to vote on whether to allow Arab residents in East Jerusalem to vote in the Palestinian parliamentary elections on Sunday. Israel agreed on Monday to allow election campaigning in East Jerusalem except for Hamas members, retreating from its former threat to totally ban voting there.
Hamas, sworn to Israel's destruction, is widely expected to do well in the Palestinian legislative elections, rousing great concerns of Israel.
Palestinian President Abbas announced on Monday that the elections would be held on Jan. 25 as scheduled since he had received assurances from the United States that Israel would allow polls in East Jerusalem.
On Tuesday, Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz made the proposal to allow Arabs in East Jerusalem to vote.
Israel seized Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East War and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community. The Jewish state has vowed to keep the whole Jerusalem as their capital while the Palestinians want Arab East Jerusalem as capital of their future state.
Arab residents in East Jerusalem were permitted to vote in the form of absentee ballots in post offices in the previous Palestinian legislative elections in 1996, which is also the first parliamentary race for the Palestinians.
The January vote will be the second Palestinian parliamentary elections. Enditem