Press Release


18 July 2010

Following Adalah's Intervention, Inter-Parliamentary Union Emphasizes that Deportation of Palestinian Parliamentarians is Illegal and an Inhuman and Cruel Act; Urges Israel to Stop Deportation Proceedings Immediately

(Haifa, Israel) On 15 July 2010, the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians, at a press conference at the UN following its General Assembly in Geneva made the following statements concerning Israel's attempt to deport three parliamentarians from the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Mr. Muhammad Abu?Teir, Mr. Ahmad Attoun, and Mr. Muhammad Totah as well as Mr. Khaled Abu Arafeh, a former Palestinian Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, all permanent residents of Jerusalem:

“The Committee remains deeply concerned about the situation of several members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), including a number of parliamentarians elected in January 2006 on the Change and Reform Party list … There has been a new development that we find particularly distressing …

The deportation of these three men would be unlawful on many compelling legal grounds and runs counter to Israel's obligations under the Fourth 1949 Geneva Convention and the other humanitarian and human rights treaties to which Israel is a party. But apart from this, it would be an inhuman and cruel act towards the men, their families and their community. For this reason alone, we urge the Israeli authorities to stop the deportation proceedings immediately.” (Emphasis added)

The IPU is a multilateral political organization, which brings together 155 national parliaments and nine associated regional assemblies. The Israeli Knesset and the Palestinian Legislative Council are both members of the IPU. The IPU's Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians has often helped parliament members under threat to obtain protection or reparation.

The IPU's remarks came in response to a letter sent to Anders B. Johnsson, Secretary General of the IPU on 13 June 2010 by Adalah's General Director, Attorney Hassan Jabareen, and private Attorney Usama Sa'adi, counsel for the Palestinian parliamentarians. The letter requested urgent intervention by the IPU to stop the imminent deportation of the PLC members. The letter emphasized that: “The withdrawal of residency status and the deportation of Palestinians from East Jerusalem on the grounds of political affiliation is dangerous and unprecedented. If such a decision is permitted to stand, it could facilitate the revocation of the residency status and expulsion of Palestinians from their own city.”

On 20 June 2010, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected a motion for injunction filed on 15 June 2010 on behalf of the MPs to stop the deportation proceedings against them. Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch ruled in a summary decision that there was no point in issuing the requested injunction because "this is not an irreversible measure." In other words, even if the men are deported from Jerusalem they could still appeal even if the Supreme Court strikes down the revocation of their residency status.

In response to the Supreme Court's ruling, Attorney Hassan Jabareen stated that: “The decision is dangerous for all Palestinians in Jerusalem since Israel can easily revoke their residency and deport them based on their legitimate political affiliations or activities. International law prohibits the occupying power from demanding loyalty from the occupied people.”

Mr. Abu Teir did not leave Jerusalem in mid-June 2010, as demanded by the deportation order. He was arrested by the Israeli police and is currently incarcerated for “illegally staying in Israel.” Mr. Attoun, Mr. Totah and Mr. Abu Arafeh, who are also threatened with imminent expulsion, are taking refuge since the beginning of July in the Red Cross compound in Jerusalem.

Previous IPU Statements on the Case

In July 2006, the IPU “expressed concern at the revocation of the East Jerusalem residence permits of three members of the PLC and recalled that, in keeping with Article 45 of the Hague Convention (IV) of October 1907, which was considered to embody rules of customary international law, the inhabitants of occupied territory, such as East Jerusalem, should not be compelled to swear allegiance to the occupying power. The Committee likewise called on the authorities, in keeping with international law, to reconsider their decision to revoke the East Jerusalem residence permits of the three parliamentarians concerned."

In July 2007, the IPU Committee noted that “an appeal was pending before the [Israeli] Supreme Court regarding the withdrawal of the East Jerusalem residence permits of Mr. Muhammad Abu?Teir, Mr. Ahmad Attoun and Mr. Muhammad Totah, and hoped that the proceedings would lead to the prompt restoration of those permits."

For more information, see:
Adalah's Letter to the IPU, 13 June 2010:

Al-Haq Legal Analysis, 17 June 2010:

Adalah News Update, 21 June 2010:

Amira Hass, Ha'aretz English Edition, 27 June 2010:

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