Court: Abu Tir to remain in Israel

Hamas leader to stay in jail after refusing to post bail.

abu tir 298.88 (photo credit: Orly Halpern)
abu tir 298.88
(photo credit: Orly Halpern)
Muhammad Abu Tir, a Hamas member who represents an east Jerusalem constituency in the Palestinian Legislative Council, will remain in jail until his trial is finished, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court decided on Sunday.
Abu Tir, who was born in 1951 and is known for his bright orange henna-dyed beard, refused the conditions of his release, which were to post bail of NIS 350,000 and to leave Israel. His lawyer told the Palestinian media that he is not interested in meeting the conditions.
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Abu Tir had been imprisoned for refusing to leave Jerusalem after Interior Minister Eli Yishai invalidated his Jerusalem residency permit along with three other Palestinian legislators for their affiliation with Hamas.
Abu Tir previously failed to comply with a court order to leave Jerusalem by June 30.
Last week, the Inter-Parliamentary Union criticized Israel for the decision to deport the four Hamas parliamentarians, saying it violated their human rights.
Abu Tir was first arrested in 1974 and sentenced to 16 years in prison for security offenses. He was released 13 years later.
In 1989, he was arrested for a second time, this time for possession of weapons. He was sentenced to 13 months in prison.
Between 1990 and 2005 he spent eight years in prison for membership in Izzadin Kassam (the armed wing of Hamas) and trading in weapons.