Israel Severe Violates Int’l Law: Reports reveal Attoun abduction happened on Red Cross premises


[ 27/09/2011 – 02:56 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Condemnation has abounded after undercover Israeli policemen abducted Monday Palestinian lawmaker Mohammed Attoun as Israeli reports are rebutted that the abduction took place outside of the premises of the International Red Cross (ICRC) in Jerusalem, where the MP was seeking shelter for the past year.

Attoun along with another Hamas MP and a Palestinian Authority’s former minister had been seeking asylum with the ICRC after the Israeli authorities revoked the men’s rights to residence in their native city of Jerusalem on grounds that they belonged to the Hamas party.

In a statement released Monday, Hamas condemned the entry of ICRC headquarters by the undercover paramilitary men and the abduction of Attoun, declaring the operation a blatant violation of international laws that protect the rights of representatives. The statement also says the move was a transgression against the ICRC, as an international humanitarian organization, and holds Israel responsible for the abduction.

Meanwhile, witnesses have rebutted reports by the Israeli occupation authorities that the abduction took place outside of the ICRC premises.

Those present at the moment of entry said a force of undercover officers swiftly abducted Attoun without drawing attention from the public.

Attoun’s wife, who visited him on the day of abduction, said the methods used to enter the premises removed doubts that unusual activity was going on in the vicinity.

Witnesses noticed four young men appearing to be engineers standing naturally with notebooks and maps in their possession near the premises. They were talking as if they were busy at work in order to avoid suspicion.

Attoun’s wife also said there was a large truck that day parked beside the ICRC headquarters as well as veiled women sitting in a private vehicle.

At the time, MP Attoun was preparing for a televised interview with an Arab satellite station inside the ICRC premises.

During the abduction operation, Attoun’s wife was sitting in a car parked between the truck and undercover women after a brief visit and was waiting for clearance pass about 200 meters away from the main gates of ICRC.

Passersby said that within moments an argument took place followed by an altercation with fists and batons. After a few seconds the area was filled with young “strangers” who tried to defuse the situation.

The four undercover officers then entered the premises and apprehended Attoun who tried to resist the arrest, but the men placed him inside of a vehicle and blindfolded him, later taking him to an interrogation center in Jerusalem.

Those present in the area were removed and threatened at gunpoint.

One witness said within moments the street was packed with special armed forces who surrounded the premises from both ends.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the arrest came in the framework of “Israeli policies to Judaize Jerusalem and evacuate its people”, given that Attoun was an elected representative of the Palestinians in Jerusalem.

In a statement, Abu Zuhri added that the abuction violated the sanctity of the ICRC.

Tahir al-Nono, spokesman of the government in Gaza, said the move came in an attempt to rid Jerusalem of its Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim landmarks.

Hamas MP Mohammed Totah and former minister Khalid Abu Arafeh, the politicians who were sheltering with Attoun at the ICRC, described the arrest as an act of “piracy” and disregard of human rights.

The abduction has also drawn condemnation from rights groups and Palestinian government officials and political parties, such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.


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