Abu Teir seized by occupation forces; 13 Palestinian parliamentarians now imprisoned

Thirteen Palestinian parliamentarians are now imprisoned by Israel following Israeli occupation forces’ seizure of PLC member Mohammed Abu Teir on Friday, 4 August, only two months after he was last released from Israeli prison.

Abu Teir was seized in a pre-dawn raid from his home in the Umm al-Sharayt area of Ramallah, where he has lived after he was forcibly expelled from his home in Jerusalem. He is a member of the Change and Reform Bloc, the parliamentary bloc associated with the Hamas movement. Throughout his life, he has spent 34 years in Israeli prisons and has been repeatedly arrested, detained and imprisoned by Israeli occupation forces since his election in 2006 to the Palestinian Legislative Council.

He was last released on 30 May after 17 months of detention. Abu Teir, along with colleagues Ahmed Attoun and Mohammed Totah, and former PA minister of Jerusalem Affairs Khaled Abu Arafeh, was stripped of his Jerusalem ID in 2006 for participating in the PLC elections. As a member of the Change and Reform bloc associated with Hamas, he was subjected to mass arrests targeting the political movement by the Israeli occupation. The stripping of the Jerusalem IDs of Abu Teir and his colleagues is widely viewed as part of an overall Israeli attack on the Palestinian identity of Jerusalem and Jerusalemites.

His seizure follows that of Omar Abdel-Razak on 23 July; Abdel-Razak was ordered to administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial, only days later. Abdel-Razak is held without charge or trial along with nine other members of the Palestinian Legislative Council: Khalida Jarrar, Mohammed Badr, Ibrahim Dahbour, Mohammed al-Tal, Hassan Yousef, Ahmad Attoun, Ahmad Mubarak, Azzam Salhab and Mohammed Jamal Natsheh.

Jarrar, the leftist feminist parliamentarian and Palestinian national leader, was seized on 2 July alongside Khitam Saafin, Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees president; she was ordered to six months in administrative detention. Jarrar is a member of the Abu Ali Mustafa Bloc, while the other detained parliamentarians are part of the Change and Reform Bloc.

Fellow imprisoned Palestinian parliamentarians include two of the most prominent political leaders serving lengthy sentences: Ahmad Sa’adat, 63, the imprisoned General Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine serving a 30-year prison sentence after he and his comrades were abducted by Israeli forces attacking a Palestinian Authority prison in Jericho in 2006, and Marwan Barghouthi, prominent Fateh leader serving five life sentences and imprisoned since 2002.