Creating new perspectives since 2009

International campaign launched in support of parliamentarians threatened with eviction from Jerusalem

February 20, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Following the Israeli interior minister’s decision to expel three Jerusalemite MPs from the city, the International Campaign for the Release of the Abducted Members of the Palestinian Parliament has sent out letters to every national parliament throughout the world, as well as international parliamentary institutions, calling upon them to take tangible steps to stop this expulsion from taking place.

The Campaign stressed that the decision to expel Mohammed Abu Tir, Mohammed Totach, Khaled Abu Arafa and Ahmed Atoun is a racist one, falling within the context of Israel’s policy of displacing the indigenous residents of Jerusalem and Judaising the city. In its letter, which was sent out on Sunday June 20, the campaign urged global parliamentary institutions to “coordinate all efforts toward putting an end for such violations against the members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.” It also stressed the importance of “taking practical steps regarding the Israeli abduction and expulsion of Palestinian MPs, which is a violation of the parliamentary immunity of Palestinian MPs.” The campaign called for bringing the Israelis responsible to trial for this violation of the rights of the elected representatives of the Palestinian people.

The Campaign also said that the Israeli interior minister’s decision has no legal grounds, and that it happened because the MPs refused to bow to Israeli pressure to resign from the Palestinian Legislative Council after being threatened with the withdrawal of their right to live in Jerusalem. This is an outright violation of the MPs’ human rights, uprooting them from the city of which they are citizens. The MPs families have also been threatened with expulsion. According to the Campaign, the Israeli measures constitute a violation of all international conventions, including the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Convention which prohibits an Occupying Power from transferring the residents of an occupied territory by force.  These Palestinian MPs have been imprisoned by Israel for more than three years and have now been given thirty days to leave Jerusalem.  The Campaign points out that the Israeli decision is not only contrary to the fundamental principles of democracy but is part of a long series of Israeli crimes against Palestinian MPs.