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Carter Center calls for end to Jerusalem deportations

JTA

July 23, 2010 | 11:18 am

The Carter Center called for an end to what it called “East Jerusalem deportations” by the Israeli government.

The Center expressed concern about the revoked residency rights of three members of the Palestinian Legislative Council who had been living in eastern Jerusalem.

Israeli authorities have reportedly offered to allow Muhammad Abu-Teir, Ahmad Attoun, and Muhammad Totah, members of the PLC, along with former Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Khaled Abu Arafeh to remain in Jerusalem only if they disaffiliate from Hamas.

The Carter Center said that this would set a precedent for expulsion based on political affiliation, which violates the fourth Geneva Convention.

“Home demolitions, settlement construction, the separation of East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank and its annexation to Israel, and long-standing efforts to push Palestinian residents out of the city are violations of international law, which may make the creation of a viable Palestinian state impossible,” said former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

In 2006 then-Israeli Interior Minister Roni Bar-On revoked the residencies of the three PLC members. They were all arrested and their Jerusalem identification papers confiscated.

Hamas, a terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip, rejects Israel’s existence. The more moderate Palestinian Authority, favored by Israel as its negotiations partner, is pushing back against Hamas influence in the West Bank.

Abu-Teir remains in Israeli custody, and negotiations are underway for his release.

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