Mohammed Abu Tir
Hamas' Mohammed Abu Tir at his East Jerusalem home after his release from an Israeli jail on Thursday, May 20, 2010. Photo by Tomer Appelbaum
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday denounced Israel's plan to expel four politicians from Jerusalem because they belong to the Islamic militant group Hamas.

Abbas warned that expelling the politicians to the West Bank would set a dangerous precedent and would create new obstacles for peace.

Israel has stripped thousands of Palestinians of their Jerusalem residency since capturing the eastern part of the city in the 1967 Six-Day War, citing procedural reasons.

However, human rights activists say revoking the residency of the four Hamas politicians would mark the first time Israel had against Arab residents of the city because of their political affiliation. Israel considers Hamas a terrorist group.

Jerusalem police confiscated the Israeli identity cards of the four Hamas legislators - Mohammed Abu Tir, Mohammed Totach, Khaled Abu Arafa, and Ahmed Atoun - in early June and gave them until July to leave the country.

All four have refused to give up their duties within the Hamas Legislative Council. Detectives from the Jerusalem District Police Central Unit took their identity cards after The High Court of Justice ruled that they would not prevent the men's expulsion from Jerusalem.

Israel had warned the four men in the past to renounce membership of Hamas or risk losing their residency rights in East Jerusalem.