Hamas Officials Given One Month to Leave Israel

Jerusalem police confiscate Israeli identity cards of 4 Hamas Legislative Council members who refuse to give up membership in the organization.

Jerusalem police confiscated the Israeli identity cards of four Hamas legislators overnight on Thursday and gave them until July to leave the country.

Mohammed Abu Tir, Mohammed Totach, Khaled Abu Arafa, and Ahmed Atoun are all Hamas legislators who refuse 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.

The four men were, in the past, warned by Israel that they must renounce their membership in Hamas or risk losing their residency rights in East Jerusalem.

Hamas' Mohammed Abu Tir at his East Jerusalem home after his release from an Israeli jail, May 20, 2010. Israel revoked his Jerusalem residency and he is now imprisoned without charges.

Abu Tir was released from Israeli prison last month, after being jailed for the last four years, since his arrest along with 65 other senior Hamas men in response to the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006.

After his release, Abu Tir was prohibited from entering Jerusalem.

Israel has so far released nine of the Hamas officials who were jailed after Shalit's abduction convicted of belonging to an illegal organization. Israeli defense officials said those ministers had just completed their prison terms and their release was not connected to a prisoner swap deal for Shalit's release.

Hamas won control of the Palestinian parliament in 2006 elections and then seized the Gaza Strip in 2007, leading to rival governments in the West Bank and Gaza.