Israel attempts to deport Hamas MPs from Jerusalem

Israeli police arrested a Palestinian Hamas lawmaker in his Quds neighbourhood on Wednesday.

Israel attempts to deport Hamas MPs from Jerusalem


Israeli police arrested a Palestinian Hamas lawmaker in his Jerusalem (Quds) neighbourhood on Wednesday, claiming he was there illegally after Israel revoked his "residency permit."

The arrest of Muhammad Abu-Teir, who was scheduled to appear before an Israeli court on Thursday, looked likely to sharpen international criticism of the Jewish state's plan to deport him along with three other Hamas politicians from East Jerusalem.

 Israel captured Al-Quds in the 1967 six-day war and later annexed the city, in a move not recognized by the international community, has deported scores of Palestinians from their homes.

Ahmad Attoun, another Hamas lawmaker facing expulsion, said he was driving Abu-Teir in Sur Baher neighbourhood, where the latter lives, when they were pulled over by police asking to see their "Israeli-issued identity cards".

"We told them we do not have IDs. They arrested Muhammad Abu-Teir and told me I have two days remaining to stay in Jerusalem," Attoun told Reuters.

An Israeli police spokesman said Abu-Teir was arrested "for not abiding by the court order requiring he leave Jerusalem within the court-appointed period".

Abu-Teir was among dozens of Hamas politicians from Jerusalem and the West Bank that Israel rounded up in 2006 after the Islamist group won a democrative legislative election.

The plan to deport Abu-Teir, Attoun, fellow Hamas lawmaker Muhammad Totah and former Hamas cabinet minister Khaled Abu Arafeh has been condemned by Abbas.

Richard Falk, the U.N. special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, cited the four Hamas men's case in a statement on Tuesday that saw "a larger, extremely worrying pattern of Israeli efforts to drive Palestinians out of East Jerusalem -- all of which are illegal under international law".

Falk noted that Israel's High Court of Justice was slated to review the deportations on Sept. 6, which could signal reprieve.

Abu-Teir's arrest came as U.S. envoy George Mitchell held talks in Israel as part of indirect peace negotiations with the Palestinians that were launched in May.

Israel has been working hard over the past years to Judaize the holy city and change its Islamic identity.

It has been adopting a series of oppressive measures to force the Palestinians out, including systematic demolition of their homes.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Temmuz 2010, 08:45