Friday, June 25, 2010

Israel expels four Hamas-parliamentarians from Jerusalem

Muhammad Abu Teir (Photo), member of the Palestinian parliament for Hamas,  has until Friday to leave Jerusalem, Israeli police informed him late Wednesday. Officials said the Palestinian Legislative Council member was reached by phone at his Sur Baher home after sundown Wednesday with news that upon order of Israel's High Court, his residency rights would soon be voided.
On Sunday, this court declined to overturn a military order expelling the official, saying in its ruling that the issue would be left up to a district court, where a petition against the move was filed last September.
Israel has stripped thousands of Palestinians of their Jerusalem residency since capturing the eastern part of the city in the 1967 Six-Day War.
However, revoking the residency of the four Hamas politicians would mark the first time Israel acts in that way against Arab residents of the city because of their political affiliation.
Jerusalem police confiscated the Israeli identity cards of the four Hamas legislators - Mohammed Abu Teir, Mohammed Totach, Khaled Abu Arafa, and Ahmed Atoun - in early June and gave them until July to leave the country. All four have refused to give up their duties within the Hamas Legislative Council.
Israel had warned the four men in the past to renounce membership of Hamas or risk losing their residency rights in East Jerusalem.

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