Abu-Tir. Arrested in capital
Photo: Noam Moscowitz

Abu-Tir arrested again

Senior Hamas member of Palestinian parliament violates order to leave Jerusalem, rearrested just month after release from Israeli jail

Police arrested senior Hamas figure Muhammad Abu-Tir on Wednesday in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv, because he failed to leave the State after the Interior Ministry annulled his residency rights.


Abu-Tir was released just a month ago after four years behind bars. He was originally arrested as part of a wave of arrests made by Israel following the abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.


Since his release, he has already been summoned a number of times by police, and at the beginning of the month was detained for questioning – after which his ID card was annulled. He was also ordered to leave the State borders or face arrest.


Similar injunctions were issued against other Hamas members of the Palestinian Parliament, including Mohammad Totah, Khaled Abu-Arafa and Ahmad Attoun.


During a Shin Bet interrogation just hours after his release, Abu-Tir was told he had to leave his hometown Jerusalem within a month (by June 19).


"I don't know what to say, this is an injustice which reflects an attempt at extortion," Abu-Tir said to Ynet at the time. "They told me I must remain in my village (Umm Tuba) and never go to the city. I don't know the reason for this."


Last Friday Abu-Tir met PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. The president supported the Hamas members of Parliament who were ordered to leave Jerusalem, saying the deportation would set a "dangerous precedent."


He informed them that "the PA has contacted a number of states, including Israel and the US, in an attempt to stop Israel's plan to prevent the four who have been elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council from being Jerusalem residents."


Palestinian sources said Abu-Tir was arrested as he left his village, and that among those who arrested him were undercover officers disguised as Arabs. His family was unable to define the area forbidden to Abu-Tir, who holds the second slot on Hamas' party list.


They say they do not know where he has been taken and fear he may be prevented from returning home.


Sources in the PA expressed hope that as a result of Palestinian efforts to contact international figures, Israel may rescind its deportation order against the four Hamas members of Parliament.


Ali Waked also contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 06.30.10, 18:31
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