Local Elections Postponed Again Due to Soldiers in War

Local Elections Postponed Again Due to Soldiers in War
elections IDF

Israeli’s parliament, known as the Knesset, approved the government’s decision on Monday.

By Troy O. Fritzhand, The Algemeiner

The Israeli government has approved a plan to postpone local elections until Feb. 27, following uncertainty over some 4,000 reservists in the military seeking office — including 688 who would be unable to run — as well as many more soldiers who would be unable to vote in a time of war.

“I congratulate the members of the Israeli government for the decision to postpone the elections,” tweeted Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who has been outspoken about the need to postpone voting. “When our soldiers are at the front they cannot participate in the vote, and the last thing the citizens of Israel need is debates of an election campaign. We led this rejection in the name of tens of thousands of soldiers who are not willing to give up the right to choose and choose.”

Israel called up some 350,000 reservists in a massive military mobilization following the Hamas terror group’s Oct. 7 massacre in southern Israel. Beyond waging a campaign of air strikes and ground operations against Hamas in Gaza to the south, the Jewish state has also been clashing with the Hezbollah terror group on its northern border, where fighting has escalated in recent weeks.

The reservists running for office, covering 144 municipalities throughout the country, were told by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) that they could not leave due to the nature of their service.

A group of four soldiers seeking office had filed a petition with the Supreme Court, asking it to intervene and postpone the elections until the war in Gaza has mostly subsided.

Smotrich had tweeted earlier on Sunday, telling members of the government that they will “have to decide whether to disconnect from the people and turn your back on the hundreds of thousands of reservists and their millions of family members, or to be attentive and connected to them.” He urged the government “to make the right decision.”

Israeli’s parliament, known as the Knesset, approved the government’s decision on Monday. The measure to postpone the elections was supported by all but two lawmakers — members of Arab parties — with one opposing the delay and one abstaining. They argued that pushing the elections to the end of February could mean that runoff votes would be scheduled during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The chairman of the Interior Committee, the panel of the Knesset that approved the decision, said in response: “We will find a solution for this with the Interior Ministry. Maybe we will advance the date of the second round before the beginning of the holiday.”

The elections were supposed to be held on Oct. 31, until they were initially postponed due to the war until January.

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