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Jerusalem: former minister for Jerusalem Affairs and PLC member arrested

23-01-2012 News Release 12/13

Geneva/Jerusalem (ICRC) – Mohammed Totah, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), and Khaled Abu Arafeh, the former minister for Jerusalem Affairs, were arrested today by the Israeli police inside the premises of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Jerusalem.

A family member of one of the two men present at the time of arrest was also arrested.

Together with Ahmed Attoun, a PLC member who was arrested in September 2011, Mr Abu Arafeh and Mr Totah had been staging a sit-in on the premises of the ICRC since 1 July 2010 to protest against a decision taken by the Israeli authorities to deport them.

Under international humanitarian law, East Jerusalem is an occupied territory, and its Palestinian residents are protected persons within the meaning of Article 4 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 prohibits Israel as an occupying Power, regardless of its motive, from forcibly transferring Palestinians.

For further information, please contact:
Hicham Hassan (Arabic/English/French), ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 25 41 or +41 79 536 92 57
Cecilia Goin (English/Spanish), ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 52 601 91 50
Nadia Dibsy (Arabic/English/French), ICRC Jerusalem, tel: +972 2 582 88 45 or +972 52 601 91 48