Hamas legislator Mohammed Abu Tir was charged Thursday for staying in Israel illegally. Abu-Tir was arrested Wednesday for remaining in Jerusalem despite a court order saying he must leave the city.
Abu-Tir was arrested in 2006 along with several fellow Hamas legislators and sentenced to prison for membership in a terrorist organization. He was recently released after four years in jail, and was warned that he is forbidden to stay within the municipal borders of Jerusalem. His Israeli-issued identity card was revoked.
His arrest in 2006 followed a seven-year prison sentence for terrorism that ended with his early release in 2005.
Earlier this week police said Abu-Tir and other leading Hamas figures would be allowed to remain in Jerusalem if they renounced membership in the Islamic terrorist group. However, they refused to do so.
Abu-Tir's release, and that of other Hamas legislators, aroused the ire of nationalist Israelis. Many had assumed that the Hamas leaders would be used to bargain for the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.