Nativity deportees urge ICC action to end exile
Ma'an News Agency
May 11, 2013
Palestinian resistance fighters deported from the West Bank in 2002 on Saturday urged President Mahmoud Abbas to work for their return from exile.
In April 2002, during a major Israeli incursion into the West Bank, Israeli forces besieged the Nativity Church in Bethlehem after dozens of fighters took refuge in the church.
After 40 days, negotiations involving international mediators ended the siege with the deportation of 13 fighters to European countries and 26 others to the Gaza Strip.
At the time, Israel agreed to let the fighters return to their homes after two years, but 11 years on the deportees remain in exile.
In a statement Saturday, the deportees urged Abbas to hire a commissioner to work on their cases and urged the president and the Palestinian Authority to head to the International Criminal Court to stop Israel deporting Palestinians.
The deportees in Gaza urged the PA Civil Affairs Ministry to secure permission for their relatives to visit them through the Erez crossing. They also called on the PA to cover their living costs, which they say have not been paid in five months.
The deportees called for national reconciliation and stressed the importance of united government to address Israeli violations.
Related Topics: Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Palestinians
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