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Recent Palestinian elections hailed as successful

UN Palestinian Rights Committee hails recent successful elections

Officials serving on the United Nations Palestinian Rights Committee have welcomed the last month's Legislative Council elections, voicing hope that the new body will help contribute to peace in the Middle East.

In a statement released in New York late Tuesday, the Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People said the polls “were conducted in a free, fair and peaceful manner” and offered its “high praise” to the Central Elections Commission and all of the Palestinian people.

“The Bureau of the Committee expresses its sincere hope that the mandate the newly elected Legislative Council has received from the Palestinian people will lead to positive developments in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to new steps aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the statement said.

Officials of the Committee welcomed the statement by President Abbas given after the elections that the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority would honour and respect all obligations and commitments previously entered into, including the commitment to the Road Map, an outline peace plan.

“By the successful holding of the elections, the Palestinian side has taken another crucial step required by the Road Map aimed at the emergence of an independent, democratic, viable and contiguous Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours,” the statement said.

“The opportunity brought about by the democratic elections must be built on and seized by the parties to try to revitalize peace negotiations based on the principles of international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions.”

The Bureau called on Israel to immediately “stop all settlement activity and the illegal construction of the wall in the occupied West Bank and in and around East Jerusalem” and said both parties “must reinforce their commitment to cease all acts of violence.”

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