Israeli court sentences Hamas-linked lawmaker to 17 months in jail
An Israeli military court has sentenced a legislator affiliated with the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Hamas to 17 months in prison.
Palestinian sources said the court at Ofer Prison in the central part of the occupied West Bank handed down the jail term to Muhammad Abu Tair on Tuesday, and ordered him to pay a cash fine of 8,000 Israeli shekels ($2,100). The 65-year-old lawmaker was also been sentenced to 30 months on probation.
On January 22, Israeli forces detained Abu Tair after raiding his house in the northernmost Palestinian Arab neighborhood of Kafr Aqab in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds. An unnamed Israeli army spokesperson described him as a “Hamas terror operative” at the time.
Abu Tair joined six other members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), including Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Secretary-General Ahmad Saadat, in jail at the time of his arrest.
He was elected to the PLC as a representative of Hamas political party in 2006. The 65-year-old lawmaker has spent at least a total of 32 years in Israeli prisons, serving separate sentences.
Israeli authorities revoked Abu Tair’s permanent residency status in Jerusalem al-Quds on October 8, 2010 after five months of detention.
The Tel Aviv regime has frequently targeted Palestinian lawmakers, particularly those affiliated with Hamas party. They have repealed their Jerusalem al-Quds residency permits, and forcibly deported them to the occupied West Bank.
“Palestinian political leaders are routinely arrested and detained as part of an ongoing Israeli effort to suppress Palestinian political processes — and, as a result, Palestinian political sovereignty and self-determination,” the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer says.
It added, “The (Israeli) Occupation forces have continued to prosecute members of the Palestinian Legislative Council since 2006, and arbitrarily incarcerate them after putting them on trial before military courts that lack guarantees to a fair trial.”
Israeli bulldozers raze Palestinian structures in East al-Quds
Meanwhile, Israeli bulldozers have demolished two Palestinian steel structures and a store in Sur Baher neighborhood of East Jerusalem al-Quds, alleging that they had been built very close to the separation wall, which separates parts of the West Bank from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory.
Locals said Israeli forces confiscated tools and floor tiles from inside the steel structures and store.
More than 1,569 Palestinians have been displaced since the beginning of the current year as a result of Israeli demolitions in the occupied territories, compared to 688 Palestinians uprooted last year, according to UN figures.
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the besieged Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.