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Hizb al-Tahrir to boycott upcoming municipal elections

Aug. 3, 2016 6:30 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 29, 2016 4:52 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Hizb al-Tahrir movement has announced that it would boycott Palestinian local elections in October, calling the process “worthless” so long as the Israeli occupation was ongoing.

“The party’s stance is clear,” Hizb al-Tahrir spokesperson Maher al-Jabari told Ma’an. “We are not participating in any elections while Israeli occupation still exists.”

Al-Jabari called elections held under occupation “worthless and good for nothing,” adding that the movement’s decision to boycott the electoral process was a unanimous decision.

“We don’t intend to start any political conflict with any other Palestinian parties,” he added. “No doubt the election’s purpose is to serve the people and manage their needs. However, participants in this election are going to apply the policies of the Palestinian Authority.”

Hizb al-Tahrir -- a pan-Islamic political organization with the goal of uniting all Muslims into one state with an elected Caliph as its head -- was founded in Jerusalem in 1953.

The group has had a vocal presence in the occupied Palestinian territory since and believes that the establishment of an Islamic caliphate would end Israeli military occupation.

Hizb al-Tahrir notably rejects the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s support of a two-state solution establishing a state of Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The PA’s support of a two-state solution recognizes the existence of a Jewish Israeli state, in contrast with Hizb al-Tahrir’s vision, which al-Jabari said called for “motivating Muslims to take responsibility to liberate Palestine.”

Municipal elections are set to take place on Oct. 8. The Hamas movement announced its participation in July, paving the way for elections to be held in the Gaza Strip for the first time in a decade.

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