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Wednesday Dec. 8, 2010 6:16 PM (EST+7)
Israel expels Jerusalem Hamas lawmaker to West Bank

Read more: Jerusalem, Hamas, Abu Teir, Abu Tir

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Dec 8 (Mohammed Assadi/Reuters) - Israel on Wednesday freed an Islamist Hamas lawmaker it had detained for five months and expelled him to the West Bank, after an Israeli court ruled that he was not permitted to continue living in Jerusalem.

The residency permits of Mohammad Abu Teir and three other East Jerusalem Hamas politicians were revoked in 2006 following the group's victory in parliamentary elections when they trounced Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction.

Abu Teir said his expulsion was painful. Israel aims to evict the people of Jerusalem. Israel does not want to see Arabs in Jerusalem. They want to Judaise the city, he told reporters.

The other three Hamas politicians -- two legislators and a former minister -- have lived in a tent at the International Committee of the Red Cross compound in Jerusalem since July.

The minute we exit the tent, we will be jailed and expelled, said Ahmad Attoun, one of the three.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in a 1967 war. It annexed East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as the capital of their future state, and calls all of the city its own indivisible capital, a move not recognised internationally.

Israeli police rounded up dozens of Hamas politicians from Jerusalem and the West Bank in 2006 after the Gaza-based militant group led a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip in which Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was abducted.






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