An offer he could refuse – Abu Tir remains in jail, facing "deportation"

It doesn’t make a lot of sense: the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court today offered a deal to detained Hamas-affiliated East Jerusalem politician Mohammad Abu Tir to be free on a large amount of bail, provided he agree to leave Jerusalem for a voluntary exile by the beginning of next week (18 July).

If he does not agree to leave voluntarily — which he has vowed not to do — he will be forcibly expelled, the Jerusalem court ruled today.

He would be deported — and he would lose all his bail money. Not a good deal. So, he is staying in jail.

According to Israel’s YNet website, Abu Tir would have been “required to deposit NIS 50,000 (about $12,900) with the court. If he fails to do so, he will remain in detention by court order. In addition, he will be required to post NIS 100,000 (about $25,800) self-bail and a third-party bail of NIS 100,000. He will also be required to sign a document committing that he will not return to Israeli territory”. This is posted here .

The same YNet story also reported that “During his detention, he received an offer to resign from Hamas and cease all activities against Israel in exchange for permission to return to his home in Jerusalem”.

Apparently, Abu Tir has not agreed to these terms.

Ma’an news agency reported that Abu Tir’s lawyer, Usama As-Sa’di, said that “Abu Teir categorically rejected the offer because it means agreeing to expulsion, which he will never accept”. Ma’an added that “The Hamas-affiliated lawmaker’s legal team is considering further legal options … As-Sa’di said the ruling was ‘political and not legal’, adding that the issue should have been brought before Israel’s High Court”. This is posted here.

There was already a petition filed to the Israeli Supreme Court on behalf of Abu Tir and three other East Jerusalem Palestinian politicians. The Israeli Supreme Court, however, to hear the appeal before September. If the deportations go ahead before then, the Court said, well, that would be reversible.

Abu Tir has been fighting the “deportation” order against him, which was issued in 2006, after he was elected to the Palestine Legislative Council on the Hamas-backed Change and Reform Party.

In the meantime, he was arrested for having been elected, and put into an Israeli jail for over four years.
Shortly after he was released in May, Abu Tir was summoned by Israeli Police and obliged to turn over his East Jerusalem ID, and ordered to leave Jerusalem a month later, on 19 June.

Then, he was arrested for not having an ID.

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