Hamas lawmakers protest Israel's order to expel colleagues in Jerusalem

09:00, June 24, 2010      

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Lawmakers of the Islamic Hamas movement Wednesday protested in Gaza against Israel's decision to expel three Hamas-aligned legislators from Jerusalem.

Earlier in June, the Israeli authorities ordered four Hamas legislators living in Jerusalem to leave the city by the end of the month, before that, Israel had frequently warned the lawmakers to abandon Hamas membership, threatening an expulsion.

Ahmed Bahar, Gaza-based deputy speaker of the Hamas-dominated parliament, described the Israeli order as an act of "ethnic cleansing" against Jerusalem and its residents, saying "the Israelis want to Judaize the holy city."

He added that "this is a grave violation of the international laws and norms."

Besides, Raji al-Sourani, head of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, said the order is a "grave crime against humanity". He added that the UN and the United States should be responsible for "Israel's violations of the Palestinians' rights".

Israel arrested the four legislators in 2006 together with tens of other Hamas leaders after militant groups abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and drove him into Gaza. But the lawmakers were released later.

Israel listed the Hamas movement as a terrorist group, who has claimed it would destroy the Jewish state and carried out dozens of suicide bombing attacks, killing tens of Israelis.

The Islamic movement seize the Gaza Strip in 2007 by violence, after that, Israel imposed tight blockade on the enclave.

Source: Xinhua


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