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Studying the electoral rolls in Ramallah. Photo: Abbas Momani/AFP via Getty

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced Thursday the indefinite postponement of parliamentary elections that had been scheduled for May 22.

Driving the news: Abbas said the delay was due to the fact that Israel had not committed to allowing Palestinians in East Jerusalem to vote. Another unspoken reason is that a split in his Fatah party has opened the door for a potential Hamas victory.

  • Abbas made the announcement at the end of a meeting with representatives of all Palestinian factions.
  • The representatives agreed that the elections would be postponed until the Palestinians in East Jerusalem can vote.
  • Abbas also plans to establish a national unity government.

What he's saying: Abbas said at the meeting that Israel had informed the Palestinian Authority once again on Thursday that it had no response to their request about voting in East Jerusalem. The reason given was that the government formation process in Israel is ongoing.

  • Abbas said that statement meant Israel would not allow voting in East Jerusalem.

The other side: As it became clear this week that Abbas would opt for a postponement, Israeli officials were attempting to get the word out that they were not to blame. Go deeper.

Go deeper

Aug 6, 2021 - World

Hezbollah fires rockets at Israel for first time since 2006 war

A Hezbollah flag flies on the Lebanon side of the Israel-Lebanon border. Photo: Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty Images

Hezbollah on Friday fired 19 rockets from southern Lebanon toward Israeli military outposts on the border between the two countries. Most were intercepted by the Iron Dome system and there were no casualties, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Why it matters: This is the first time Hezbollah has fired rockets on Israel and publicly taken responsibility since the 2006 war. It's a significant escalation in tensions on the Israeli-Lebanese border in recent weeks.

Updated 8 mins ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

2 hours ago - World

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne's spent longer under lockdowns than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.

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