East Jerusalem. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Ahead of the upcoming Oct. 30 municipal elections in Jerusalem, Palestinian terror groups are pressuring Arab residents of the city to maintain their traditional boycott of the vote, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) think tank reported on Wednesday.

Yet, the JCPA explained in an analysis authored by Nadav Shragai, “this time surveys and some new, different voices reflect a desire among many Arab east Jerusalemites to participate in the elections.”

Arabs comprise 31 percent of the 630,000 eligible Jerusalemite voters, yet only one percent of Arab voters cast a ballot in the previous municipal elections five years ago.

The growing interest in voting among the city’s Arabs, according to Shragai, is rooted in their goal of becoming “part of the municipal establishment so that they can wield influence and channel budgets into services and infrastructure for the Arab neighborhoods.”

However, a letter circulated in Arab media outlets in the city, attributed to “the Islamic nationalist forces in Al-Quds the occupied capital,” warned, “We regard anyone who takes part in the elections, supports them, or deals with them as someone who is cut off from the nation and will be seen as one of the mechanisms of the occupation and its helpers … Whoever takes part in the elections is a traitor who harms all the Palestinian values.”