Israeli occupation forces have arrested parliamentarian Mohammed Abu Tair at his home in Ramallah. He is a Palestinian Jerusalemite who was deported to Ramallah by the Israelis in October 2010. His new home was stormed during his arrest.
Fellow Palestinian Legislative Council member Nasser Abdel Gawwad told the Safa news agency that a large number of Israel Defence Forces personnel broke into Abu Tair’s home at 2:30 am and searched it before arresting him; no reason was given.
Abdel Gawwad condemned the arrest, pointing out that Israel’s policy is to target Palestinian parliamentarians in the occupied West Bank in order to hinder the ability of the Legislative Council to operate and prevent members of parliament from having a role on the ground. He added that there is no justification for targeting Abu Tair and there are no legal grounds for his detention as he has not been accused of, or committed, any crime.
By arresting legislators, said Abdel Gawwad, Israel is violating the immunity granted to all parliamentarians by humanitarian and international laws. He called on international parliamentary groups to intervene and put a stop to Israel’s unjust policies against Palestinian MPs and the Legislative Council. He expressed his hope that his parliamentary colleague will be released and won’t be held under indefinite administrative detention without charge or trial.
The Ahrar Centre for Prisoners and Human Rights denounced the detention of Abu Tair as a “war crime”, noting that he has spent more than 25 years in Israeli prisons.
There are currently 14 elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, including ministers, being held in Israel’s jails.