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Monday, May 29, 2006

Four Hamas members to be barred from Jerusalem

Four senior Hamas members, including a 'Palestinian Authority minister,' who are 'East Jerusalem' residents have been given thirty days to quit all PA institutions or have their 'East Jerusalem' residency status revoked.

Letters detailing the ultimatum were sent by Interior Minister Ronnie Bar-On to Minister of Jerusalem Affairs in the Hamas-led PA cabinet Khaled Abu Arafa and three PLC members: Mahmoud Abu-Tir, Mohammad Tutah and Ahmad Adun.

If their 'East Jerusalem' residency status is revoked, the four would be considered illegal aliens and would not be allowed to stay in 'East Jerusalem.' They would also
no longer be able to receive National Insurance Institute payments (the equivalent of social security in the US, but here you get a monthly subsidy for every child under the age of 16 through National Insurance) and would be barred from even entering the city.

Israel says that under the Oslo accords, the Palestinians are not allowed to conduct political activity in Jerusalem.

"They can't have it both ways," a senior Israeli official said. "If they are part of a government that doesn't renounce terrorism, recognize Israel or accept previous agreements, there will be a price to pay."

He admitted that this would not bring Hamas to its knees, but said "it could make life for them more difficult, and it will show them that there are personal consequences for their actions."


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