Abu Tir charged in Jerusalem

Hamas member to remain jailed; prosecutors want prison time.

Muhammad Abu Tir 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Muhammad Abu Tir 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Hamas member and legislator Muhammad Abu Tir was charged with illegally staying in Israel at Jerusalem Municipal Court on Thursday.
Abu Tir was arrested Wednesday afternoon after he failed to comply with a court order to leave Jerusalem by June 30.
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State prosecutors requested that Abu Tir be given prison time if convicted of the offense. The Court lengthened his stay in prison until Sunday.
Abu Tir said that he was not willing to leave Jerusalem.  He added that he does not represent Hamas but rather the Palestinians and Jerusalem Arabs.
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.
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.