A press conference was convened today Thursday in Ramallah, concerning the decision of Israeli Occupation decision to revoke residential rights of four members of the Palestinian legislature to reside in Jerusalem on the pretext of non-allegiance to Israel.
Yesterday, three members of the Palestinian legislature from Jerusalem; Mohammed Abu Tir, Ahmed Othwan and Mohammed Tutah, in addition to the former Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Khalid Abu Arafa, all of whom where elected in the 2006 elections for the change and reformation party, presented an urgent appeal to the Israeli High Court to issue an order to stop their expulsion.
It is recalled that the Israeli police informed Abut Tir in May that he was obliged to leave Jerusalem by the 19th June. Likewise they informed Ahmed Utwan, Mohammad Tutah and Khalid Abu Arafa that they should leave Jerusalem by 3rd July and that their residency rights have been revoked.
The Israeli Minister of Interior has given the Parliamentarians the choice of resignation from the Palestinian legislature if they wish to reside in Jerusalem. This act clearly reflects intent to carry out forced expulsion, which contravenes the Fourth Geneva Convention that prohibits forced deportation and expulsion of persons in Occupied Territories.
Several human rights organizations including Al-Haq, Adalah and the National Coalition for the Defence of Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem convened the press conference, which was held in the National Television Centre in Ramallah, with the participation of the affected MPs and other parliamentarians, journalists and human rights activists. Dr Muhammad Abu Tir did not attend because of concerns that if he travelled to Ramallah he would not be allowed to return to Jerusalem.
MEMO Photographer: Ibtehal Mansour