Tel Aviv, MINA – Israel has threatened leaders affiliated with the Islamic resistance movement Hamas to jail them if they run for the upcoming Palestinian elections, a source told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.
Hatem Naji Amr, a Hamas leader in Hebron, south of the West Bank, told Anadolu Agency that he was summoned by Israeli intelligence on Tuesday and warned not to run.
“They threatened us with prison terms if we ran for elections, whether from a party, ethnic group or as independent (candidates),” said Amr.
Omar Barghouthi, a former detainee from Ramallah said he had a similar experience when Israeli intelligence warned him that “running for elections later means returning to prison”.
“Israeli intelligence regards us as the de facto decision maker and the real authority in the occupied territories,” Barghouthi added.
Palestinian elections are scheduled to be held this year and begin with legislative elections on May 22, followed by presidential elections on July 31 and the National Council on August 31. The last Palestinian legislative elections were held in 2006 in which Hamas won a majority.
Palestinian officials announced that Cairo would host Palestinian factions early next month to discuss ways to ensure a successful electoral process. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)