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Israel lifts Palestinian campaign ban in Jerusalem

[JURIST] Israeli police said Monday that Palestinians who plan to run in the January 25 parliamentary elections [BBC backgrounder] will be permitted to campaign in Jerusalem, reversing a previous ban against Palestinian campaigning in the capital city. Senior Palestinian politician Hatem Abdel Khader said he viewed the lifted ban as an indication that Israel [JURIST news archive] would also permit residents from East Jerusalem to vote, a key demand by Palestinians. The Israeli government, however, has not yet commented on whether the eastern residents would be allowed to vote, and the decision will likely be the first political issue facing acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert [official profile], who took over after the stroke of Ariel Sharon [BBC profile] last week. Israeli police officials and Palestinians are scheduled to meet later Monday to discuss the campaigning procedures. Last week, members of an independent Palestinian election commission resigned [JURIST report] in protest of the government's decision to allow security forces to cast votes in their barracks instead of in their districts. AP has more.

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