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3064

Statement on Jerusalem, Refugee camps and Palestinian Prisoners in Israeli Jails in the Local Elections

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The CEC operates according to Electoral laws, and the procedures emanating from them, to ensure the safety and transparency of the Electoral Process. In that regard, the CEC would like to clarify some important points relating to the 2021 Local Elections:


Local Election in Jerusalem
The CEC clarifies that the (First Phase) of the 2021 local elections is taking place in all governorates of the West Bank including the Jerusalem district. Elections will happen in 27 localities during the first phase, which are decided to take place on the 11th of December 2021. These localities are: (Abu Dis, Al Judeira, Al Jib, Al Khan al Ahmar, Az Za'ayyem, As Sawahira ash Sharqiya, Ash Sheikh Sa'd, Al Qubeiba, An Nabi Samwil, Biddu, Beit Ijza, Beit Iksa, Beit Hanina al Balad, Beit Duqqu, Beit Surik, Beit 'Anan, Bir Nabala, Jaba', Hizma, Kharayib Umm al Lahim, Rafat, 'Arab al Jahalin (Salamat), 'Anata, Qatanna, Qalandiya, Kafr 'Aqab, Mikhmas). Two more localities will have elections during the second phase on the 26th of March and they are (Ar Ram & Dahiyat al Bareed and Al 'Eizariya).

As for the occupied city of Jerusalem, it is not included in the local elections. This is what occurred during the previous local municipal elections: 2004-2005, 2012, and 2017. Considering that, it directly falls under the administration of the Israeli occupation’s municipality as well as the absence of a local municipal council adherent to the Palestinian authority inside the city. On the other hand, the CEC hopes to work in the city of Jerusalem as soon as possible as an integral part of the Palestinian areas. 

The CEC notes that it facilitates registration of Jerusalemites who live in the West Bank with unique registration procedures, to encourage their participation in polling and nomination in the localities they live in. These procedures allow Jerusalemites to register in person, in the CEC District offices in the West Bank, in addition to attaching a proof of residency in the locality they wish to register in, like a utility bill, or a property ownership contract for the registrant or a first-degree relative of his/hers. 

 

Participation of Refugee Camps in the Local Elections

Regarding Refugee camps in the West Bank; their inability to participate in the West Bank Local Elections is a self-determined decision made, years ago, by their representatives for political reasons relating to the right of return. Thus, refugee camps in the West Bank are not included – according to the Palestinian Cabinet’s decision – in the list of localities where the Local Elections in its first and second phases will happen. On the other hand, their inability to participate as well is due to the absence of local councils, inside refugee camps, to provide services for citizens, as the UNRWA oversees them since their creation. 

 

Participation of Palestinian Political Prisoners in Israeli Jails, in the Local Elections 

The CEC notes that, its procedures allow all citizens to include their names in the voter’s registry, including Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli Jails: through online registration, through registration by proxy facilitated by first and second-degree relatives, or through registration by POA (Power of Attorney); with a POA from the political prisoner’s attorney, or the Red Cross. Prisoners can nominate themselves as well, through their attorneys or a RED cross POA specific for nomination. Nonetheless, polling inside the Israeli occupation’s jails for Palestinian prisoners is not possible. Since it is outside the jurisdiction of the CEC, and requires coordination with and approval from the Israeli authorities. Furthermore, The CEC cannot ensure the integrity of the electoral process inside the occupation’s Jails without directly being able to supervise in them.

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