Israeli bid to deport Jerusalem father ‘illegal and immoral’

This picture taken on July 22, 2019 from the West Bank village of Dar Salah shows the demolition of a Palestinian building which was under construction in the the Palestinian village of Sur Baher in East Jerusalem. (AFP)
Updated 23 July 2019

Israeli bid to deport Jerusalem father ‘illegal and immoral’

  • Israel twice tried to banish news photographer Mustafa Kharouf turned back from Jordanian border crossings after

AMMAN: Two attempts by Israel to deport a stateless Jerusalem dad to Jordan have been condemned as “illegal and immoral. ”Israeli officials were twice turned back from Jordanian border crossings within the space of 16 hours after trying to banish news photographer Mustafa Kharouf.
The married father-of-one, who was born in the Algerian capital Algiers but has lived in Jerusalem all his life, was driven to separate border checkpoints on Sunday night and Monday morning only to be turned away.
Kharouf has been separated from his family since being arrested by Israeli immigration authorities more than six months ago. The deportation attempts came after lawyers had exhausted efforts to block his expulsion from the city.
Adi Lustigman, representing Kharouf on behalf of Israel-based human rights organization HaMoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual, told Arab News that the Israeli actions were “both illegal and immoral.”
The lawyer said that Kharouf had been moved to Jerusalem as a baby and was a photographer working for the Turkish Anadolu News Agency. She added: “He has no legal status in Jordan, and no connection to the country in which he spent just a few hours as a child, when he passed through it to enter Israel.
“His parents, brothers and sisters live in Jerusalem. His wife and his two-year-old daughter, from whom he has been separated for over six months due to his arrest by the Israeli immigration authorities, live in Jerusalem. His home is Jerusalem.”

FASTFACT

The married father-of-one, who was born in the Algerian capital Algiers but has lived in Jerusalem all his life, was driven to separate border checkpoints on Sunday night and Monday morning only to be turned away.

The drama began at 9 p.m. on Sunday when an Israeli police car drove Kharouf from Ramleh prison to the King Hussein Bridge near Jericho.
Col. Rafaat Matarneh told Arab News that Jordanian border guards refused to allow Kharouf entry to the country without appropriate documentation.
Raja’a Khatib, a journalist colleague, said that after three hours of attempts to convince the Jordanians to take Kharouf the Israelis gave up and left, only to try again on Monday morning by driving him south to the Wadi Araba crossing. But the Jordanians refused his entry a second time.
Lustigman said: “Israel’s failed attempt to deport Kharouf to Jordan strengthens our claim that there is no place for him to go other than back to his home in Jerusalem. We urge Israel to find a humane solution for him and his family.”


Turkey sends armed drone to northern Cyprus amid gas dispute

Updated 4 min 51 sec ago

Turkey sends armed drone to northern Cyprus amid gas dispute

  • The breakaway northern Cyprus government approved the use of the airport for unmanned aerial vehicles
  • A recent agreement between Turkey and Libya claims extensive areas of sea for Turkey in the Mediterranean

FAMAGUSTA, Cyprus: A Turkish military drone was delivered to northern Cyprus on Monday amid growing tensions over Turkey’s deal with Libya that extended its claims to the gas-rich eastern Mediterranean.
The Bayraktar TB2 drone landed in Gecitkale Airport in Famagusta around 0700 GMT, an AFP correspondent said, after the breakaway northern Cyprus government approved the use of the airport for unmanned aerial vehicles.
It followed a deal signed last month between Libya and Turkey that could prove crucial in the scramble for recently discovered gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.
The agreement claimed extensive areas of the sea for Turkey, undercutting claims by Greece and the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, which runs the southern part of the island.
Analysts say Turkey was pushing back against rival efforts to claim exploration rights in the area after Cyprus, Greece, Egypt and Israel excluded Turkey from a new “East Mediterranean Gas Forum” that also includes Jordan, Italy and the Palestinian territories.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is only recognized by Turkey, said approval for the drone was given last week “in light of the latest developments in the eastern Mediterranean region” and “to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the TRNC and Turkey.”
The TRNC’s transport minister, Tolga Atakan, said Turkish drones were partly a response to the acquisition of Israeli drones by Cyprus in October to monitor its exclusive economic zone.
Cyprus has been divided since Turkish troops occupied the northern third of the island in 1974 in response to a coup sponsored by the Greek military junta.
Turkey already has two drilling vessels in the eastern Mediterranean despite the threat of European Union sanctions.
Ankara does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member, and says the TRNC has the right to explore around the entire island.