Hamas's Abu Tir arrested again

Legislator arrested for not complying with order to leave capital.

June 30, 2010 18:55
2 minute read.
Palestinian lawmaker Mohammed Abu Teir speaks duri

Muhammad Abu Tir 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)


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Police in Jerusalem arrested Hamas member and legislator Muhammad Abu Tir on Wednesday afternoon after he  failed to comply with a court order to leave the capital by June 30.

“He is being questioned, and will appear before a Jerusalem court on Thursday morning,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post.

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Detectives from the Jerusalem police’s central unit made the arrest near the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood.

Abu Tir, 59, is a high profile Hamas member and was voted into the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006.

He was released from prison last month after spending four-and-a-half-years behind bars, on the condition that he leave his east Jerusalem home and move to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

Hamas legislator Abu Tir released
A 'violation of human rights'?

Abu Tir, who is famous for his red beard, was arrested together with dozens of Hamas officials and activists in Jerusalem and the West Bank shortly after the abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.

Since then, he and other Hamas legislators from Jerusalem have had their Israeli-issued ID cards revoked – a measure that means that they would no longer be able to continue living in their homes in the city.

Earlier this week, an Israeli security official said that the Hamas politicians would be allowed to stay in Jerusalem only after they renounce ties to the Islamist movement.

The official pointed out that Abu Tir had failed to make such a pledge. He added that Abu Tir did not join the other three Hamas representatives who met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas twice in the past week in Ramallah.

The three Hamas men who met with Abbas declared after the meeting that they do not represent Hamas, but were part of a political list that ran in the Palestinian parliamentary election in 2006.

The list, Change and Reform, belongs to Hamas.

The Ministry of Interior had revoked the permanent residency status of Abu Tir and his colleagues, paving the way for their expulsion from the city.

However, the Israeli security official said that the decision could be reversed if the four men signed a written pledge that they disassociate themselves from Hamas.

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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