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ISM to Monitor Palestinian Elections


International Solidarity Movement to Monitor Palestinian Elections

Campaign: December 1-January 15, 2005

Israel has so far ignored repeated calls to fulfill its promise to help facilitate the upcoming January 9 Palestinian Presidential elections. In addition to ongoing closure policies and repeated incursions inside Palestinian cities and towns, Israel is banning opening voters' registration centers in East Jerusalem. This will hinder the election process in the city. In addition, Israel may attempt to limit candidates attempting ot campaign in East Jerusalem.

For example, a Palestinian from East Jerusalem, reporter Majdah Batsh, has expressed her intentions of running for the PA chairperson position. It is extremely doubtful that Israel will allow Batsh or any of the seven other candidates to run for election in Jerusalem.

In coordination with Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem, the International Solidarity Movement, (ISM), intends to invite all candidates to run a full election campaign in the city, including public meetings, rallies, and debates.

For this to be possible, Israel must open East Jerusalem to Palestinians from the West Bank. Failing to do so is a violation of its commitment to help facilitate open and democratic elections and will influence the elections results.

ISM monitors will be asked to take part in all campaigning efforts in the holy city and accompany every candidate who attempts to enter to the city and meet with electorates. ISM activists will monitor and report any attempt from the side of Israel to interrupt the election process. Monitoring activities will include facilitating access and travel, campaigning activities and documenting arrest campaigns by the Israeli Army. ISM teams will also be ready to join protests and direct non-violent actions against any Israeli measure that obstructs election campaigns.

West Bank and Gaza:

Safe passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is an essential part of the election campaign. If Israel fails to provide such a passage it will hinder the ability of Palestinians to run open and democratic elections.

ISM monitors will join any candidate who seeks to commute between the two separate sections of the Palestinian occupied territories. They should be ready to join protests or direct non-violent actions if Israel fails to provide free movement between the two areas.

ISM monitors will be ready to go to Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps if reports of incursions or added layers of closure are received. All such violations will be monitored and reported during the full election campaign period. If necessary, ISM monitors will stay in areas where violations are occurring and ongoing.

ISM will also coordinate efforts with Israeli activists who are willing to join in the effort to help Palestinians run free and democratic elections.

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