Palestinians in East Jerusalem boycott Israeli polls

Local media reports around 2-5 percent turnout

Palestinians in East Jerusalem boycott Israeli polls

Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem generally boycotted Israel’s municipal elections Tuesday, with turnout only around 2-5 percent, local media reported. 

Jerusalem had the lowest turnout of the elections overall, with only 32 percent of residents heading to the polls. 

Meanwhile, Israeli police arrested four Palestinians who attempted to block the installation of polling boxes in East Jerusalem. 

More than 6.6 million Israelis were eligible to vote in the elections. 

According to the Israeli Interior Ministry, around 11,000 polling stations opened in 251 municipalities across the country for the vote. 

A total of 863 candidates vied for some 251 city, town and regional councils nationwide. 

Local elections are held every four years in Israel amid partisan rivalries. 

Like every year, attention is drawn to the Israeli-occupied city of East Jerusalem, where the vast majority of Palestinians have boycotted the vote since Israel captured the city during the 1967 Middle East war. 

Palestinians, who are considered "permanent residents" under Israeli law, are entitled to cast a ballot but not to run in the elections. 

According to Israeli official figures, Palestinians make up around 40 percent of Jerusalem's population in both its eastern and western parts. 

In recent weeks, Palestinian religious figures have urged Palestinian residents of Jerusalem to boycott the vote. 

Palestinians view participation in Israeli elections as an endorsement of the Israeli occupation of the holy city. 

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