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Ref: 111/2010

 

The
Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns Israel’s
expulsion, from Jerusalem to Ramallah, of Mohammed Abu Tair, a member of the
Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) from the Change and Reform Bloc of the
Hamas Movement. PCHR believes that this
decision constitutes forcible expulsion; the expulsion of
protected persons is prohibited under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva
Convention, 1949. PCHR also believes
that this expulsion forms part of a policy of targeting the members of the PLC,
who were elected in January 2006.

 

According
to information obtained by PCHR, on Wednesday 8 December 2010, the Israeli
Magistrate’s Court, decided to detain Mohammed Mahmoud Hassan Abu Tair, 54, for
four months with a stay of execution, and to expel him to Palestinian Authority
controlled territories in the West Bank, pending a decision by the Israeli
Ministry of Interior and the issuance of a final decision by the Israeli
Supreme Court. Within a few hours of
this decision, Abu Tair was forcibly transported to Beitunia checkpoint, in the
west of Ramallah, where he was asked to head to Ramallah.

 

It
should be noted that last June, Israeli forces summoned Abu Tair and two other
members of the PLC from the Change and Reform Bloc: Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed
‘Attoun, 42; and Mohammed ‘Omran Saleh Toutah, 41; in addition to the former
Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Khaled Abu ‘Arafah, 49, to al-Masqoubiya
detention center in Jerusalem. Israeli
forces informed the PLC members of the decision to withdraw their Jerusalem IDs
and replace them with temporary residence permits that were due to expire on 3
July 2010. ‘Attoun, Toutah and Abu
‘Arafah resorted to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the
Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and have had a sit-in there protesting against the
decision. However, Israeli forces detained Abu Tair, where he remained, until
this expulsion decision.

 

It
is worth noting that this expulsion is part of an ongoing Israeli campaign that
has been launched to detain many members of the PLC from the Change and Reform
Bloc; in addition to ministers and members of local councils since late June 2006,
after Hamas won the majority of the PLC in the elections of January 2006. 13 members of the PLC; the majority of whom
are from the Change and Reform Bloc, currently remain in detention.

 

 

PCHR
condemns the expulsion of Abu Tair from Jerusalem to Ramallah; and:

 

1. Emphasizes that this detention and expulsion is part of a plan that
aims at undermining the results of the legislative elections, which were
democratically and fairly conducted on 25 January 2006;

2. Emphasizes that forcible expulsion is part of reprisals and
collective punishment against civilians, which are prohibited under the Fourth
Geneva Convention; and

3. Calls for returning Abu Tair to Jerusalem and releasing all members
of the PLC who are detained in Israeli prisons.