World Bulletin / News Desk
Khaled Abu Arafa, the former minister, told Anadolu Agency that his lawyer had been told by Israel’s Interior Ministry that his residency permit for Jerusalem had been revoked -- along with those of Palestinian lawmakers Mohamed Abu-Teir, Ahmad Attoun and Mohamed Totah -- due to their alleged links with Hamas.
According to Abu Arafa, his lawyer was informed of the decision on Sunday evening.
Last month, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed legislation allowing the Interior Minister to revoke Jerusalem residency permits from anyone found to be linked to “terrorist organizations” or who displayed “disloyalty to the Israeli state”.
In late 2016, Israel’s High Court ruled that the Interior Minister did not have the legal right to unilaterally revoke the residencies of Jerusalem residents.
The court, however, gave the Knesset a six-month period in which to approve the necessary legislation in this regard, which was carried out in March.
Abu Arafa described the new legislation as “illegal” and as having been “issued retroactively”. He also said that decisions to revoke Jerusalem residencies were “based on confidential material”.
“The [Israeli] occupation is tightening the noose around [Palestinian] Jerusalem residents amid talk of the U.S. administration’s ‘Deal of the Century’,” he said.
Washington’s landmark peace proposal, the terms of which have not yet been made public, “would erase Jerusalem’s Arab and Muslim identity and abandon the city’s Palestinian inhabitants”, Abu Arafa asserted.
Israel’s Interior Ministry is now reportedly thinking about revoking the residencies of 12 more Palestinian Jerusalem residents on suspicion that they belong to Hamas.