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Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Palestinian elections on the brink

Plans for Palestinian elections on verge of collapse: The Palestinian Authority is expected to call off parliamentary elections slated for 22 May if Israel continues to block voting in East Jerusalem, unnamed Egyptian officials told the Associated Press. Moving forward without the 6k votes from East Jerusalem would amount to a tacit acceptance of Israel’s annexation of the territory, argues Islamist group Hamas, rejecting the possibility of a vote that excludes the area. A cancellation of the vote could also benefit Fatah party president Mahmoud Abbas’ whose faction is set to lose out to Hamas in the election. Egypt has been in talks with Israel to negotiate a compromise that would permit voting in East Jerusalem to move forward, but diplomatic efforts on that front seem to have broken down. An official decision on the fate of elections expected to be issued tomorrow.

Israel accused of apartheid: Human Rights Watch has accused Israel of committing crimes of "apartheid” against Palestinians in a 213-page report, and has asked the International Criminal Court to "investigate and prosecute individuals credibly implicated" in such crimes. Israel's foreign ministry called the report "both preposterous and false,” according to Reuters.

Also worth knowing this morning:

  • Moscow-Washington summit: Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden could meet as soon as June amid rising tensions between the two countries, according to Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov.
  • Qatar has ramped up its lobbying efforts in the US this year, hiring seven new firms for some USD 2.2 mn, as Doha looks to secure better diplomatic relations with Washington under the Biden administration, Bloomberg reports.

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