[QODLink]
Middle East
Israel arrests Hamas lawmaker
Ahmad Attoun had taken shelter in the ICRC building after Israeli authorities revoked his Jerusalem residency permit.
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2011 18:14
Abbas mentioned Attoun's case in his speech in Ramallah upon return from United Nations [Reuters]

Israeli police have arrested a Hamas lawmaker who had been sheltering for more than a year in the International Red Cross (ICRC) offices in East Jerusalem, a police spokesman said.

Ahmad Attoun had taken shelter in the ICRC building along with another Hamas legislator and a former Hamas government minister after Israeli authorities revoked their Jerusalem residency permits.

The police spokesman and a security guard at the ICRC building said paramilitary police disguised as Palestinians had grabbed Attoun at the entrance to the offices and arrested him.

He was taken into custody a day after Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, mentioned the men's case in a speech on his return to the occupied West Bank from the United Nations, where he applied for recognition of full Palestinian statehood.

The other two Hamas men remained inside the ICRC building. 

In the speech, Abbas accused Israel of "ethnic cleansing" that included "decisions to expel elected representatives" from Jerusalem.

In a statement issued in June 2010, after Israel ordered them to leave Jerusalem, the three Hamas men wrote: "We, as sons of Jerusalem, have never left it before ... we emphasise that we will remain here and never leave it."

Hamas, locked in a bitter rivalry with Abbas's Fatah movement, won a Palestinian legislative election in 2006.

The group seized the Gaza Strip in 2007 after a unity government with Fatah collapsed into bloodshed.

The ICRC has said it told Israeli authorities that international humanitarian law prohibited the forcible transfer
of Palestinian residents from their homes, for whatever reason.

The organisation also said it had informed the three Hamas members that ICRC premises had no special status and the ICRC could not prevent police entering the building to arrest them.

Israel captured East Jerusalem in a 1967 war and regards all of Jerusalem as its capital, a claim that is not recognised internationally.

Along with the United States and the European Union, it considers the Hamas movement a terrorist group, and acted to expel the men for being members of the group.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.