The Middle East Monitor (MEMO) has been following the story of three members of the Palestinian parliament and one ex-minister in Jerusalem who have been threatened with the choice of forced expulsion from their home city or arrest by the Israeli authorities. Yesterday it was reported that the Israeli Occupation Authorities had detained Shaykh Muhammad Abu Tir, who was then transferred to Al Maskubiya prison in preparation for his expulsion from Jerusalem. Today, news has emerged that the remaining three have sought refuge in the International Red Cross office in Jerusalem. This is a new twist on the story. Having sought sanctuary with an international organisation such as the Red Cross will this motivate the international community to take up their case and demand that Israel drop its demands, which are in clear violation of international laws. MEMO contacted the FCO for their response to this latest development and asked if they will intervene on behalf of these elected officials who are being persecuted by Israel but the FCO have yet to respond.
These representatives of the Palestinian people were voted in by wide margins as representatives of the Change and Reform Party (Hamas) in Jerusalem and the West Bank (not just a crazy religious mob in Gaza). They've mostly been held in prison by Israel for the past 4 years.