RAMALLAH, July 30, 2018 (WAFA) – The Ifta Higher Council, a Muslim religious authority based in Jerusalem, Monday issued a fatwa (religious decree) prohibiting participation in the upcoming Israeli municipal elections in the occupied city of Jerusalem whether as a candidate or as a voter.
The council said participation in the Israeli elections for Jerusalem ever since Israel has occupied the city in 1967 has been an Israeli effort to get the 300,000 Palestinian residents of the occupied city to recognize Israeli sovereignty over their city.
Israel annexed the occupied part of Jerusalem, known as East Jerusalem, after the war and imposed residency status on its Palestinian inhabitants but not citizenship. Palestinians in East Jerusalem can vote in municipal elections only but not in parliamentary elections.
The Council said in a statement that Israel tried to tempt Jerusalemites to participate in the municipal elections in order to get to recognize Israeli sovereignty while at the same time it does not provide them with services, demolishes their homes, does not grant them building permits and imposes high taxes on them.
The Fatwa stressed that participation in the municipal elections by voting or candidacy is forbidden.
The statement pointed out that those who justify participating in the elections under the pretext of protecting and defending the interests of their city were proven wrong from the former experiences.
The Israeli municipality differentiates in services and rights between Palestinians and Israeli Jews in the city. While it denies Palestinians building permits thus creating a serious housing shortage, it has built tens of thousands of housing unit in Jewish settlements built on expropriated Palestinian land in the city.