Palestinian Election: 2.3 million voters register

82% of the 2.8 million Palestinians have registered, with the highest registration rate being in the Tulkarem area.

Palestinian students walk past a Fatah poster at the Palestine Polytechnic University in Hebron (photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian students walk past a Fatah poster at the Palestine Polytechnic University in Hebron
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC) announced that 82% of eligible voters have registered by Monday evening for the upcoming general elections.
The number of registered voters for the elections was 2.3 million out of 2.8 million in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the commission said, noting that the highest registration rate was in the area of Tulkarm (91.8%).
According to the CEC, residents of east Jerusalem who hold Israeli-issued ID cards are entitled to participate in the elections without registering in the register of voters.
Palestinian officials have called on the international community to put pressure on Israel to allow the elections to take place in east Jerusalem.
The electronic registration process is available through the commission’s website, and Palestinians over the age of 17 who hold a Palestinian ID card can register by February 16.
CEC chairman Hanna Nasser on Monday invited France and Turkey to send observers to monitor the elections. He also called on the two countries to help facilitate the electoral process in Jerusalem.
The CEC has also invited the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which consists of 57 member states, to send observers to monitor the elections. A similar invitation has also been sent to the European Union and European Parliament.
The parliamentary election is set to take place on May 22, while the presidential election will take place on July 31. Elections for the PLO’s legislative body, Palestinian National Council, are scheduled to be held at the end of August.
Leaders of several Palestinian factions are scheduled to meet in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on February 8 to prepare for the elections.
The discussions will be held under the auspices of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service.
Jibril Rajoub, secretary-general of the Fatah Central Committee, will head the Fatah delegation to the discussions. The Hamas delegation will be headed by Saleh al-Arouri, a founding commander of the group’s military wing, Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades.
In September 2015, the US Department of Treasury designated Arouri as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. In 2018, the US State Department offered a reward of up to $5 million for information that would lead to the identification or location of Arouri, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, and two senior Hezbollah military operatives.
Arouri said that Hamas would be participating in the Cairo discussions “with an open heart.” Hamas, he added, was ready to “overcome obstacles” to pave the way for holding the elections.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and other Palestinian factions have also been invited by the Egyptians to participate in the Cairo talks. PIJ officials said that their group has still not decided whether it would participate in the elections. PIJ boycotted previous parliamentary and presidential elections.