An Israeli court decided Sunday to extend the remand of Jerusalem lawmaker Mohammad Abu Teir, of the Hamas party, until July 12. The prosecution is demanding the expulsion of Abu Teir from his hometown of Jerusalem.Representing Abu Teir, attorney Fadi Qawasmi, stated that the decision was made as Israel’s attorney-general is considering an alternative to the expulsion of Abu Teir.
Qawasmi added that a request was filed to the Israeli Interior Minister to review last week’s court ruling which stripped Abu Teir of his residency rights in Jerusalem.
The defense attorney added that he requested the delay as he needs to examine all of the documents presented by the prosecution to find a solution to the issue.
He also stated that he is contacting all related parties to reach an acceptable solution to the case.
In June, Israel revoked the residency rights of Abu Teir and three other elected Palestinian legislators and demanded they leave Jerusalem.
Abu Teir, Ahmad Attoun, Mohammad Totah, and Khaled Abu Arafa, are affiliated with the Hamas movement and were elected during the legislative elections of 2006.
Although Israel supported holding the election as part of its peace agreement with the Palestinian Liberation Organization, it refused to recognize the outcome of the election, as Hamas achieved an overwhelming victory garnering the majority of the seats.
On Friday, Attoun and Abu Arafa started a sit-in protest at the Red Cross headquarters in Sheikh Jarrah, in East Jerusalem.
Abu Teir rejected an Israeli offer to be deported from his hometown, Jerusalem, into the occupied West Bank.
After detaining Abu Teir on Thursday, the Israeli police said that the legislator is illegally residing in Jerusalem, as his residency rights were revoked and he was ordered to leave the occupied city.
Mamoun al-Abbasy, coordinator of the National Committee Against Deportation, told the Maan News Agency that the court ruling to postpone the hearing and the final ruling prove that the decision to expel the legislator was taken by the Israeli government without any legal grounds.
Al-Abbasy added that the delay was also made in order to avoid any further tension with the United States as Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, intends to hold a meeting with President Barack Obama in the coming days.