RAMALLAH, June 24 (JMCC) - Three Jerusalem
parliamentarians and a former minister affiliated with the Islamic movement Hamas
are running out of time before an Israeli order deporting them from the city goes into effect.
The four were given one month to vacate their homes in Jerusalem, time that they have used to advocate against the decision.
The four have appealed to the Israeli high court and met with international politicians and human rights representatives, trying to find a way to repeal the decision.
We await in our homes, knowing that they are coming, says Khaled Abu Arafeh, former minister of Jerusalem affairs. Our emotion is immense. We aren't afraid of them, but feel sorrow and pain for having to part with Jerusalem.
The four have refused to implement the decision, which goes into effect on July 2.
They say that they are not the only Palestinians who will be targeted by Israeli orders stripping them of the right to live and work in Jerusalem. The group says that a list of 318 other names of people to be expelled has been leaked by Israeli officials.
They want to establish that Jerusalem is their capital, says parliamentarian Mohammed Abu Tir, who says the expulsions are political. They want to
silence the voices in the city that are rebutting this claim.
Abu Arafeh says that he believes that the residents of Silwan
whose homes are slated to be demolished according to an Israeli decision made this week will ultimately be deported from Jerusalem.
International and Arab institutions have promised us that contacts are under way with the US administration to prevent Israel from committing this crime, says Abu Arafeh.
But if the clock runs down and Israeli forces arrive at their door to forcibly remove them from Jerusalem, Abu Arafeh says the four will resist. It is better to die and be buried here, he says. In the dust of Jerusalem.