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Al-Haq Legal Analysis: Forcible Transfer of Jerusalem Parliamentarians Demonstrates an Escalation of Israeli Measures to Transfer Palestinians from Occupied East Jerusalem

Thursday, 17 June 2010 14:50 Ref:124/2010
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Four Jerusalemite Palestinians are facing impending forcible transfer from occupied East Jerusalem. Three are elected parliamentarians to the Palestinian Legislative Council, Mr. Muhammad Abu-Teir, Mr. Ahmad Attoun, and Mr. Muhammad Totah, and the fourth is the former Palestinian Authority Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Mr. Khaled Abu Arafeh,

These impending deportations are in keeping with Israel’s policy of forcibly transferring Palestinians from East Jerusalem. In addition to the revocation of Jerusalem ID cards, which effectively rescinds the right of permanent residency to Palestinian citizens of Jerusalem and denies them access to their city, Israeli polices have made living conditions for Palestinians in Jerusalem increasingly intolerable, causing many to leave. Long-standing Israeli policies of home demolitions, settlement construction, police brutality, denial of essential services, restrictions on access to holy sites as well as cultural and educational facilities, and construction of the Annexation Wall have resulted in the indirect forcible transfer of Palestinians out of the city.

Recently introduced military orders further facilitate the forcible transfer and deportation of Palestinians from the remainder of the occupied West Bank. As analysed in Al-Haq’s position paper on the issue, these military orders effectively legislate for the commission of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

What is striking about the impending forcible transfer of the Jerusalemite legislators is that Israel is coercing the parliamentarians to surrender their democratic and human rights in exchange for allowing them to remain in their own city. Israel has forced these Palestinians to choose between exercising their rights to participate in the electoral and democratic process or being forcibly transferred from their homes, families, and community. These men have refused to bow to Israeli coercion are now liable to be arrested or forcibly transferred ... More