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ISRAEL: Palestinians fear Israeli court ruling may set new grounds for banishment

There’s a growing worry among Palestinians that an Israeli Supreme Court decision Sunday will make it easier for Israel to deport Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem because of their participation in the Palestinian Authority.
The court upheld a move by Israeli police ordering three members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, which functions as the Palestinian Authority’s parliament, and a former member of the Palestinian Cabinet to leave the city within a month of the order.
It is believed to be the first time Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem would be stripped of their right to live in Jerusalem solely because of their political activity, experts say.

Israel first issued the orders in 2006, arguing that the men – all members of the Hamas-affiliated Change and Reform party – should give up their Israeli ID cards because they are members of a “foreign” government and therefore disloyal to Israel.
The men challenged the policy in court, which is due to hold a hearing in September.
But pending a decision, Israeli police moved recently to deport the men over the next two weeks. On Sunday, the court rejected the men’s emergency appeal to block the move.

Israeli Interior Minister spokeswoman Sabin Hadad said the decision to revoke the residency of the men was made because all four were members of the Palestinian parliament and had acquired residency in the Palestinian territory, a condition for Palestinian parliament members. “There is a decision to strip them of their residency,” she said. She declined to comment further.

As a result of the decision, hundreds of Palestinian activists from Jerusalem are worried that they may be next.
Israeli police had already informed at least two other activists, one a leading member of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party who once served as a minister in Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s government, and the other a Fatah activist of African descent, that they may be next on the list if they continue their political activity.
Though the four men currently affected are members of Hamas, which Israel considers an enemy entity, Israel’s legal argument appears to be grounded in participation in the Palestinian Authority, not membership in Hamas, so Fatah members are also worried.
Palestinians say Israel has no right to punish leaders for participation in the Palestinian Authority, which was created as a result of peace agreements with Israel and works with Israeli authorities on administration and security in the West Bank.
The Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem said that in 2008 alone, Israel revoked residency rights of over 4,500 Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem for various reasons, but none were political.
The Palestinian Authority has condemned the decision. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat warned that the revocation of the right of the four to live in Jerusalem “is hardly an isolated policy.”
The four men – lawmakers Ahmad Attoun, Muhammad Abu Tir and Muhammad Toutah and former Palestinian Authority Cabinet minister Khaled Abu Arafeh – were recently released from serving several years in an Israeli jail. They were detained with scores of other Hamas-affiliated politicians who were arrested by Israel in retaliation for the 2006 kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

In those cases, many were charged or held under Israeli military law for being members of Hamas, which Israel considers to be a terrorist organization.
Abu Arafeh said the justification for the deportation was that because the men had become members of a parliament or cabinet "of a hostile entity," they had "violated their loyalty" to Israel and therefore had lost their right to live in East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied and annexed in 1967.
"There is a huge contradiction in this order because it considers the Palestinian Authority as a hostile entity at a time they have mutual recognition and have internationally-sponsored joint agreements," he said.
Police have already confiscated the men’s Israeli-issued ID cards, which allow them free movement in and out of the city.
"We have been living like prisoners in our own homes," Attoun said. “We cannot move or leave our homes because without our identification papers, we could be arrested or harassed at any checkpoint or by any policeman on the street."
Stripping them of their ID cards would have been tolerable, he said, but "telling us to leave our homes, our families and our city where we have lived all our lives is cruel and inhuman."

-- Maher Abukhater in Jerusalem

Comments () | Archives (16)

Stefano and Wiz: You two have some funny views of international law. Whatever bothers the Arabs is, apparently, illegal. Whatever is really happening on the planet is, definitely, secondary to what is happening to the Arabs.

23,000 people have been murdered in Mexico these past 3 years, and you two are, not surprisingly, ignorant of this. If you really cared about the human spirit, you wouldn't waste your time whining about Israeli internal affairs by calling on international law.

These message boards are jokes and for jokers.

Any Israeli Supreme Court decision promoting or permitting such behavior might have the power to back it, but not the legal right to do so under international law.

Genocide in Kyrgyzstan... The Muslims are being other Muslims! Look how the Muslim world is silent. 1 Palestinian gets killed and they scream the Jews commit genocide. Hundreds killed and hundreds of thousands fleeing and they are silent. How many Imans are issuing Fatwas against the killing of their Muslim brothers...ZERO

How sad that the scourges of the 20th century are being repeated in the 21th century by Israel. Israel created the Warsaw-like ghetto in Gaza 3+ years ago to imprison and collective punish the 1.5M Gaza civilians imposing extreme violence, starvation and economic strangulation. Now Israel is attempting to transport/expel (ethnic cleanse) palestinians in the occupied lands to the Gaza prison ghetto, I wonder if these palestinians will soon be shipped via rail-cars like cattle with serial # tattooed on their arms for easy tracking... "Never again"? Israel is the 21th century Nazis and Apartheid South Africa...

Our own Sup. Ct. just ruled this past week that support for a terrorist organiation can be prohibited by the US government. How is this decision any different, except possibly it is more lienient in that they are not arrested, yet, for treason. They support a terrorist organization by becoming its officials while living in Israel.

If Adam Gadan, the American El Kaisda, still lives, will he not be arrested if he comes back to the USA? Jews are being held to double standards. These two Arabs should have thought about the consequences of their actions and potential losses of family and residency status before they joined up with the enemy.

Only in the USA do we fooishly allow guys like the Times Square bomber to become a citizen. The Israelis are more cautious because the bombs have gone off in the crowded streets and malls splattering citizens body parts around and their blood and brains on the walls. Americans are just as naive as these two; they don't know enough to take these killers at their word and act in anticipation to defend yourself. Instead, you criticize those who give credance to a killer's threats and act against them to prevent the loss of life claiming government doesn't have the right to infringe on their liberties. Liberties! liberty to murder?!?!. No one has the liberty as a right. These guys have a choice; membership in a terrorist organization and house confinement or join the enemy in blockaded isolation away from your intended victims. They made their own choice when the joined up.

Here is what the PLO have to say about it

with PLO executive committee member, Zahir Muhsein said:

“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, ‘Palestinians’, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism.”

Israel lost to the Ottoman Empire and ceased to exist for several hundred years. The forceful and violent recreation of Israel after WWII with backings from US and Europe cause this whole chain of events to start.

Sure Jews have the ancestral rights to those lands but they chose violence per early Bible instead of negotiations. Violence beget violence. Israel can never grow strong as a nation or Jews as a people if trapped in a cycle of violence with a mentality of a victim for all times.

The men challenged the policy in court, which is due to hold a hearing in September.

But pending a decision, Israeli police moved recently to deport the men over the next two weeks. On Sunday, the court rejected the men’s emergency appeal to block the move.?

This sounded not right in a lawful country. The issue is pending in the courts but already carried out by police?

The Brits used to live in Brittany, the French west Coast before the hun invasion made everyone migrate westward. Do you think over a thousand years later they have a right to reclaim it?

Mecca is the capital for Islam..Jerusalem is the capital for Judaism..
Islam has never had a ruler in Jerusalem and Mohammed never even visited the city. They have zero claim.

Israel voluntarily removed, sometimes forcibly expelled, every Jewish citizen from the Gaza strip in 2005 giving full control to the Palestinian-Arabs in hopes of peace. The terrorist organization Hamas now controls Gaza and launches missiles into Israel on a daily basis.

In August 2005, in an effort to pave the way for peace and a future Palestinian-Arab state, Israel unilaterally pulled (and in some cases forcibly) all of its citizens out of the territory known as the Gaza Strip and Samaria (also referred to as the West Bank.) Since the expulsion, Gaza is under control by the terrorist organization Hamas, who continue to fire missiles into Israel daily

If we compare the Israelis with the Nazis would conclude that the first are acting far worse. The Palestinians deserve our support against the horrific crimes that the government of Israel is committing against them.

atrayu, Mecca is only the capital of Saudi Arabia. As for Jerusalem, it is Islam's third holiest site.

Elissa, what knowledge do you have? None. Not all members of Hamas want to try to 'push them in to the sea.' This is just collective punishment. You are a fool.

For once Israel is putting the safety of their citizens before the "rights" of those who try to "push them in to the sea". I praise Israel for this and anyone with any knowledge of history or current events should too!

Jerusalem and Khevron were Jewish cities before the first Arab ever set foot outside the Arabian peninsula. How can Israel possibly "occupy" her own cities?

Arab/Muslims have 22 countries with Mecca as a capital they have zero claim to Jerusalem.

After reading this report, is there any right-minded US citizen still giving unconditional support to the current despotic Israeli régime? Its "rule" reflects exactly the way the Romans ruled 2000 years ago just before sacking Jerusalem: might is right, and to hell with the autochthones.

Please get out the history books and find out what happened next.
Then please stop giving unconditional support to the current Israeli government. Even better, step back, fold your arms, and don't interfere.


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