Abu Tir "deportation" trial may resume at 2pm today

East Jerusalem Palestinian politician Mohammad Abu Tir is due in court today at 2 pm, before Judge Carmi Mossek of the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court (in the Russian Compound in West Jerusalem).    At a court hearing on 4 July, the case was postponed until today — and it may be postponed yet again, if there is not yet a political solution available.

UPDATE: The court postponed the case again, until Wednesday.

Abu Tir and three other men, all elected in January 2006 to the Palestine Legislative Council (PLC), are facing — for this — what is being called “deportation” from Jerusalem, though to where is not clear.

Abu Tir served over four years in jail for this reason, and was released about six weeks ago.

After that, the Israeli Police summoned him and his three colleagues — all Palestinian East Jerusalemites elected to the PLC in the last elections in 2006 — and confiscated their Jerusalem ID cards.

Then, Abu Tir was arrested near his house for not having an ID, and for “trying to enter the State of Israel illegally”.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has been trying to broker one kind of solution — in which Abu Tir and three others who were elected (in Israeli-approved elections, on what I have recently heard was also an Israeli-approved list of candidates running on the Hamas-affiliated Change + Reform Party) would formally renounce  Hamas.

This may be too much to ask…even if we leave aside all the questions of (1) how the PLC has been unable to meet for years due to a lack of a quorum because Israel arrested most of the Change + Reform party MPs in the West Bank, or of (2) how the term of the PLC that was elected in January 2006 is considered to have expired in January 2010, or even of  (3) what exactly is meant by “Jerusalem”, or (4) by “deportation”.

This  may be too much to ask… though not necessarily because of these men’s loyalty to Hamas, which may or may not have eroded over time.

This may be too much to ask… because it is too transparently and embarassingly partisan, and fundamentally undemocratic.

Deportation, as we have written before, is a violation of fundamental human rights, international humanitarian law, the Oslo agreements between the P.L.O. and Israel (as Abu Mazen said in his Mihraj speech at Ramallah’s Cultural Palace a few days ago) — AND it is a specific violation of the Road Map.

Are George Mitchell, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama paying any attention?

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