Palestinians have denounced an Israeli judge's decision to expel MP Ahmed Attoun from his home city of Jerusalem. The Palestinian Legislative Council, the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc, and the International Campaign for Freeing Abducted Members of Parliament have all criticised the Israeli move.
Mr Attoun, fellow MP Mohammed Tottah, and former Palestinian Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Khaled Abu Arafah, have been staging a protest at the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Jerusalem for eighteen months. The protest began following Israel's decision to strip them off their Jerusalem identity cards on the grounds that they belong to an illegal organisation and they ran for the 2006 parliamentary elections under the Hamas list.
The First Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Dr. Ahmed Bahr, called the deportation of MP Attoun a "Zionist crime" contrary to international laws and conventions, and international humanitarian law.
"Attoun's deportation is an expression of the crisis of the Zionist state of Israel," said Dr. Bahr, "and such a deportation policy will end up in complete failure." He stressed his belief that Attoun and his deported colleague, former MP Abu Tir, as well as all other Palestinians driven from their homes by Israel will return to their homeland one day in defiance of the Zionist entity.
According to the Change and Reform bloc, Attoun's deportation "reveals the real face of the occupation authorities." In a press release, a spokesman said that the latest deportation will only strengthen the Palestinian people's perseverance and make them hold on even more to their city of Jerusalem. Other critics called the Israeli decision "racist".
MEMO Photographer: Ibtehal Mansour