Ramallah: The Israeli regime has accused the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of interfering in Israel’s internal affairs by holding several meetings with Palestinian members of the Israeli parliament, political leaders and community leaders in Ramallah, encouraging them to run for the elections in a unified list and urging them to nominate Isaac Herzog to be the next Israeli Prime Minister.

According to a detailed report aired by the Israeli Channel One, Abbas is getting directly involved in the Israeli elections scheduled for March 17 and is speculated that this intervention could affect the results of the elections. The report said that Abbas’ intervention is direct and involves significant pressure.

The report said that Abbas has held several meetings with Palestinian members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, and political leaders for this purpose. One of the key figures Abbas had met was Talib Al Sanei who told the Israeli TV Channel that Abbas fully supports a unified list but categorically rejected the idea that Abbas encourages and recommends the nomination of Herzog for the Israeli premiership. The report strongly confirmed, on the other hand, that Abbas has supported the nomination of Herzog as Israeli prime minister.

The Knesset has raised the electoral threshold creating an acute dilemma for the Palestinian parties in Israel, as those parties could disappear in the next elections unless they unite in a unified list under the strategy of “unite and conquer”. An electoral threshold refers to the minimum percentage of votes a party must garner in elections to win representation in parliament.

The Israelis have recently blamed themselves for raising the threshold that gives the Palestinian parties the option to unite in a unified list in order to survive. Raising the threshold has paved the way for the creation of a unified Palestinian bloc which will play a key role in the coming elections and will be true representation in the coming Israeli parliament.

Palestinian of 1948 areas are those who were not forced to leave the country when the invading Zionist forces established the Israeli regime in Palestine in 1948, or their descendants. Their participation in Israeli politics is often seen as a nuisance by Zionist parties and steps are often taken to strip them of power. They constitute 20 per cent of the Israeli population. Zionism is the state ideology of the Israeli regime, which calls for the supremacy of the Jewish race.

The Israelis insist that their electoral issues are internal affairs which neither Abbas nor the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) are entitled to address or discuss under any circumstances.

The US Administration strongly supports Israel in this trend and has even demanded the Palestinians postpone submitting their UN draft resolution to the UN Security Council till after the Israeli March election.

Dr Abdul Sattar Qasem, who heads the Political Science Department at Al Najah National University in Nablus, said that former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat used to intervene in the matters of the Palestinians citizens of Israel. “The intervention of the Palestinian president in the Israeli affairs is illegitimate from the diplomatic perspective but from the Palestinian national perspective, it is wholly acceptable and a must,” he told Gulf News.

“The Palestinian [citizens of Israel] are a part of our people and there is no way but to listen to them and discuss their issues with them.”

He said that Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset visit Abbas in his Mukata’a and they discuss their affairs and issues with him. “What do the Israelis expect?,” he stressed.

He explained that as per the diplomatic norms, Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) had recognised the Israeli regime as a sovereign state to which those Palestinians citizens belong. “We did this and we must endure the consequences,” he said, adding that the Israelis have their own sophisticated surveillance machines and cameras and recruited spies to know exactly what is going on in Al Mukata’a.