GAZA, Jan. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) warned Israel on Friday against a possible ban on the group's participation in the ballot in East Jerusalem during the Jan. 25 Palestinian legislative elections.
Musheer al-Masri, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, told reporters that the group totally rejects any Israeli condition on voting in East Jerusalem that would breach the Palestinian sovereignty.
Masri made the warning as Israeli media earlier reported that the Israeli cabinet would agree to allow polls in East Jerusalem only if Hamas' candidates do not appear on the voting ballots there.
The Israeli cabinet is expected to decide on whether to allow voting in East Jerusalem on Sunday.
"Israel doesn't have any right to deprive any Palestinian faction of its right to run in the elections," said Masri.
Masri added that Hamas had the right to campaign, rally and vote in the elections in East Jerusalem, warning that if Israel bans the group's participation there, Hamas will "have our own means to campaign and vote."
Israel had threatened earlier to totally ban voting in East Jerusalem due to the participation of Hamas, which is sworn to Israel's destruction and has spearheaded violence against Israel in the past five years.
But the Jewish state agreed on Monday to allow election campaigning in East Jerusalem except for Hamas members, retreating from its former threat.
Palestinian President Abbas also 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.
A high-ranking U.S. diplomatic team have met with Palestinian and Israeli officials in the past two days in intensified efforts to persuade Israel to allow polls in East Jerusalem and ensure a smooth and safe ballot on Jan. 25. Enditem