JERUSALEM, Nov. 30 (JMCC) - Fateh
's general secretary in Jerusalem
has received a military order to leave the city for a period of four months, according to the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan
, East Jerusalem and the Alternative Information Center (AIC).
Silwanic.net – the Wadi Hilweh Information Center's website – reported Sunday that Adnan Gheith, a resident of Silwan, was given the deportation order at the Russian Compound prison facility in West Jerusalem.
The Jerusalem-based AIC reported that Gheith is being deported because of alleged security offenses, which Israel can enforce under the Emergency Law of 1945, instituted during the British Mandate of Palestine.
According to a statement made by the Silwan Popular Committee, such an order creates a dangerous precedent that will target primarily Palestinian political activists and leaders in Jerusalem, the AIC reported.
This deportation order comes only a few days after a letter signed by over sixty Israeli public figures, including doctors, lawyers and writers, was sent to the Israeli government condemning its treatment of children in Silwan.
The East Jerusalem neighborhood has been under tremendous pressure from the Israeli army and police forces since mid-September, when clashes erupted after Silwan resident Samer Sarhan was shot and killed by an Israeli settler security guard.
Gheith is the fifth Jerusalem-based Palestinian political figure to face a deportation order in recent months.
In fact, just last week, an Israeli court postponed until early December the case of Muhammad Abu Tir, an elected member of the Palestinian legislature and representative of a Hamas-affiliated party, who has been held in Israeli custody since July.
Abu Tir is facing the charge that he is illegally residing in Jerusalem. He will remain in jail until the hearings proceed on 8 December because he refused to comply with the Israeli bail condition that he gives up his right to live in Jerusalem.
Last June, Abu Tir and three other Hamas-affiliated Palestinian legislators were stripped of their Jerusalem residency rights and told to leave the city by the Israeli authorities. Abu Tir was arrested, while the three other deputies sought refuge at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) compound in Sheikh Jarrah
, East Jerusalem.
The legislators have remained in the compound ever since, for fear that they too would be arrested or deported.
Jerusalem is the center of our lives. We were born here. We live here, and we will die here, God willing, said Palestinian deputy Ahmad Attoun in June, shortly before he moved into a protest tent at the ICRC headquarters with his colleagues Mohammad Totah and Khaled Abu Arafah.
We don't have any other alternative. We don't have any other nationality or passport. We live in [Jerusalem]. We were elected to represent our own people in Jerusalem, Attoun explained at the time.
Attoun and Totah were elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council in 2006 as members of the Hamas
-affiliated Change and Reform party. Shortly after they were elected, the Israeli authorities told them to resign or face the revocation of their Jerusalem residency.
When they refused to quit, they were sentenced to prison terms of between two and four years. Upon their release, the deputies continued to have their residency rights threatened, as did fellow Hamas lawmakers Abu Tir and Abu Arafah.
ILLEGAL UNDER INTERNATIONAL LAW
Israel's threats to deport the Palestinian legislators and most recently Fateh's Adnan Gheith are illegal under international humanitarian law, which applies to East Jerusalem since this part of the city is considered occupied territory.
Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that, individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive.
The Fourth Geneva Convention also states that the Occupying Power must do all it can to ensure that family members are not separated under any circumstance.
Since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank
and East Jerusalem began in 1967, it is estimated that 13,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem have been stripped of their residency rights. This number includes approximately 4,500 Palestinians who lost their Jerusalem ID cards in 2008 alone.
Citizens have the right to present their candidacies and participate in the democratic process to elect representatives in the Palestinian Legislative Council, Ahmad Attoun said in June. East Jerusalem is a Palestinian territory.