Carter urges Palestinian elections

2015-05-03 07:20
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ramallah, Palestinian Territories - Former US president Jimmy Carter has urged Palestinians to hold elections to end the de facto division of the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Islamist-run Gaza Strip.

He was speaking at a joint news conference with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in the Palestinian political capital Ramallah in the West Bank.

"We hope that sometime we'll see elections all over the Palestinian area and east Jerusalem and Gaza and also in the West Bank," said Carter, a member of the independent Elders Group of global leaders.

No election has been held in the occupied territories for nearly a decade.


Abbas's presidential mandate expired in 2009, but he remains in office since there has been no election. The Palestinian parliament has also not met since 2007.

Hamas won the most recent Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, a year after Abbas was elected. Differences between Abbas's Fatah party and the Islamist Hamas then led to the so-called "inqissam", or division.

Despite the rivals signing a reconciliation agreement a year ago, Hamas is reluctant to hand over power in Gaza to an independent Palestinian unity government they formed.

Carter had also planned to go to Gaza, but the visit was cancelled at the last moment.

He said it was "very important" that there be "full implementation of the agreement reached between Hamas and Fatah".

Carter was accompanied by Norway's former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland.

Denounced policies

She said that despite not being able to visit the impoverished Palestinian enclave devastated by last summer's war with Israel, "we have had a chance to discuss with people who know the issues in Gaza".

Reconstruction of the territory has not begun eight months after the end of the conflict, the third in six years.

The pair also held a news conference in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem during which they both denounced the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policies.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear during his (re-election) campaign, he is against a two-state solution" with the Palestinians, Carter said.

"A complete paradigm shift is essential: without it we fear that further conflict is inevitable," added Brundtland.

Read more on:    hamas  |  palestine
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.