Monday, July 5, 2010

Abu Teir to face trial Sunday

Jerusalem - Ma'an - Lawmaker Mohammed Abu Teir will return to court Sunday in West Jerusalem to appeal his deportation from the city.

Abu Teir’s lawyer said trial was delayed on Thursday as the court did not have sufficient time to hear his defense.

In Thursday's session, Abu Teir rejected a settlement to move to the West Bank. A condition of the move was that he paid the court a deposit of 1,000 shekels (approximately 260 US dollars) which would be confiscated should he return to Jerusalem.

The session did not exceed two minutes.

Israeli police detained Abu Teir near his East Jerusalem home on Thursday, saying he was illegally residing in the city following the revocation of his residency permit shortly before.

The lawmaker is one of four elected Palestinian Legislative Council officials to be issued with the order. The men were targeted because of their membership in the Hamas political party, which Israel considers a terrorist organization.

Palestinian officials and supporters continued a sit-in protest in solidarity with the lawmakers, which began Thursday, outside Red Cross headquarters in East Jerusalem.

The officials received a delegation from the UN Sunday, and briefed them on the latest developments. On Saturday, European diplomats, including the Swiss ambassador, were received by the officials.

UN special coordinator Robert Serry is "closely following" the case, his spokesman said Thursday.