Israel’s Foreign Ministry told the European Union on Tuesday that allegations of Israeli interference in the upcoming Palestinian elections are untrue.
The claims of interference have come from officials close to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who apparently are using the charge to delay an election which Abbas is likely to lose.
The ministry’s political director Alon Bar met with a group of 13 ambassadors from EU countries that had expressed concern whether Israel would allow the elections to proceed on schedule, the first in the Palestinian territories in 15 years.
“During the meeting, Alon Bar emphasized to the ambassadors that the elections in the Palestinian Authority are an internal Palestinian issue, and that Israel has no intention of intervening in them nor preventing them,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.
Bar told the group that Israel will not comment publicly on the elections, and that it has not yet decided whether to allow them to take place in east Yerushalayim, where the participation of several thousand Palestinians remains uncertain. Abbas has said the elections cannot be held unless they are allowed to vote.
Attending the meeting were the EU’s ambassador to Israel Emmanuele Giaufret, along with the envoys of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Greece and Portugal.