The UN’s Special Coordinator, Robert Serry, got it right: Mohammad Abu Tir was deported to … Ramallah.
Abu Tir, who spent four years in jail, then was released — and two weeks later rearrested and jailed on deportation orders which were carried out today, immediately, after a hearing in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court –
An appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court is still pending.
All of this, because Abu Tir was a Hamas-affiliated politician from Um Tubas (a village in East Jerusalem that was agglomerated by Israel into the Greater Jerusalem Municipality after the June 1967 war) who was elected in January 2006 as a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council The PLC has been unable to meet for most of the past four years because Israeli arrests of the Hamas-affiliated members deprived it of a quorum. On top of that, the term of this PLC was for four years, and it expired in January 2010.
Still, it was decided to carry out this deportation anyway.
Serry issued a statement saying that “the potential precedent set by today’s Israeli court decision which led to the transfer of a Jerusalem Palestinian Legislative Council member to Ramallah is worrying. This case and that of three other lawmakers currently facing court proceedings continue to raise serious human rights concerns regarding Palestinian residency rights in East Jerusalem. I will be raising the UN’s concerns directly with the Israeli government and international partners. It is essential that all parties refrain from provocative actions, particularly at this time”.
I wonder why Serry failed to mention that deportation is a specific violation (it is listed right at the end of Phase One) of Israel’s obligations under the Road Map?