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Israeli banishment of Fatah man from Jlem stayed

Dec. 26, 2010 7:43 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 28, 2010 11:34 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli High Court decision stayed the banishment of a Fatah official from Jerusalem on Sunday, after an earlier appeal was denied and an order to leave the city by 5p.m. was handed down that morning.

Jerusalem affairs official with Fatah, Hatem Abdul Qader told Ma'an on Sunday night that a temporarily order was issued preventing the banishment of Fatah leader Adana Gheith from his home town of Silwan in East Jerusalem.

"Resorting to the high court gained us time to handle this issue through other means," Abdul Qader said, explaining the move was not a recognition of the Israeli court system, which had earlier okayed the handing down of an Administrative Decree, enacted by power of the Emergency Defense Orders established under the British Mandate, which banished Gheith from Jerusalem for a period of four months.

Gheith's lawyer Rami Othman had appealed to the Israeli military commander of the West Bank two weeks earlier when the initial order was handed down, saying the order had no legal basis.

According to activist group the Popular Struggle Organizing Committee, Gheith’s lawyer was informed that the expulsion was intended to curb the official's political activity, "since the security apparatus considers him to be a central instigator of unrest in Silwan," a statement said.

Following the court appeal, and a fax sent to Gheith's lawyer stating the appeal was denied, the official was handed a second notice on Sunday morning, as police ramped up their presence in the Silwan area, with residents expecting at least one home evacuation before the end of the day.

A statement from the PSOC issued a statement, saying "The order is not part of a judicial process, does not include charges and is based on secret material," and said an appeal for an injunction would be filed at the Israeli High Court immediately.

The attempted expulsion of Gheith, 34, comes two weeks after an Israeli court expelled for the second time Hamas MP Mohammed Abu Teir, after four months in jail for defying a previous ban.

He was arrested on June 30 for entering mostly East Jerusalem after the interior ministry stripped him of his residence permit for his activity in the Islamist movement which rules Gaza.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East war and unilaterally annexed it shortly after. About 200,000 Palestinians live there.
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