In a disturbing new development in the on-going case of the four senior Hamas leaders that the Israeli Ministry of the Interior has been seeking to expel from Jerusalem for over four years, the High Court has now urged the terrorists to once again reapply for permission to continue living in Israel’s capital. The proceedings against them have been stayed until the Ministry responds once again to their request.
In 2006, the Ministry ordered the four senior Hamas officials who had been living in Jerusalem to be expelled from the country. The four members of the Islamic terrorist organization, had been elected as Hamas representatives to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) that January. Israel gave them 30 days to either resign from the PLC or be deported. Predictably, the terrorists, Mohamed Abu Tir, Ahmed Attoun, Mohammed Totah and Khaled Abu Arafeh, scampered off to petition Israel’s High Court to appeal the deportation orders. The fact that they do not recognize the Jewish State or any of its government agencies didn’t deter the four one bit. They argued to the Justices that they had been born in Jerusalem and despite their leadership positions in Hamas, they could not be deported as Israeli law was not controlling in “occupied East Jerusalem.”
Shurat HaDin filed a motion to the High Court and was granted the right to join the case on the side of the government which was seeking to drive the terrorists from Jerusalem. Shortly after the deportation order was given, however, IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped in Gaza and Israel placed the four Hamas leaders and others in jail. In a hearing before the High Court, the four argued that they should not be deported because as incarcerated prisoners, de facto, they do not fulfill any official position in the PLC on behalf of Hamas.
In the light of these new circumstances, the High Court suggested to the terrorists to re-apply to the Ministry for their residency. They did and the Ministry promptly rejected their request. The High Court set a new hearing on the matter for September.
On May 20, 2010, however, the four were freed from prison. They were told by Israeli authorities that they now had one month to leave Jerusalem. The four then filed a motion in the High Court for a restraining order barring Israel from deporting them until the next court hearing in September. The Government then offered the terrorist an opportunity to stay in Israel until the September hearing provided that they renounce their positions in the PLC, recognize the State of Israel and vow not to work on behalf of Hamas. Shurat HaDin vehemently opposed the Government’s offer to the four. The High Court denied their motion and, in any event, the terrorists refused to sign the renunciation. In July the Israeli police finally arrested the four again for violating the deportation orders.
At the recent hearing the High Court, unable to simply order the Islamic extremists to be expelled once and for all, surprisingly urged them to once again re-apply for permission to remain in Israel. The High Court adjourned the proceeding until the Hamas officials receive a new answer to their request from the Ministry. Its simply shocking that the High Court which never has any qualms about swiftly extraditing or deporting abroad every Jew who is accused by a foreign government of a crime, has decided to repeatedly bend over backwards to provide these criminals every opportunity possible to subvert the lawful orders of the Israeli government. Gilad Shalit remains kidnapped by Hamas and the High Court drama continues.