Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that the United States assured him that East Jerusalem Palestinians would be allowed to vote in the Palestinian elections on Jan. 25. US diplomats and other government sources refused to confirm or deny these statements. Abbas also added that the elections would not take place if Israel planned to block the voting. Israel does not want to give Abbas an excuse to postpone the elections, and has said that if East Jerusalem voting is the only reason for postponing the elections, it will reconsider its decision. In addition, Israeli police have agreed to allow East Jerusalem campaigning only for those who do not belong to militant groups. “Only those who do not represent extremist groups will receive permission to campaign,” Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra said Monday.
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