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Palestinian MP stages sit-in protest at parliament

PA attorney general issues warrant for Fatah lawmaker Najat Abu Bakr after she called member of cabinet corrupt

Palestinian Legislative Council MP Najat Abu Bakr speaks to Palestinian media in 2010 (Screen capture: YouTube)
Palestinian Legislative Council MP Najat Abu Bakr speaks to Palestinian media in 2010 (Screen capture: YouTube)

A Palestinian lawmaker has been squatting in the parliament building for the past week in protest at what a rights group said Wednesday is an illegal arrest warrant against her.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights said that after Najat Abu Bakr said a member of the cabinet was corrupt — without naming names — the attorney general issued the warrant, ignoring parliamentary immunity.

“The Palestinian Center for Human Rights stresses that the arrest warrant was issued in violation of… the Palestinian Basic Law and calls upon the attorney general to respect the law and revoke the arrest warrant,” it said in a statement.

It said that Abu Bakr, a member of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement, began her sit-in at the parliament in the West Bank city of Ramallah on February 25.

She told AFP that she would continue “as long as necessary.”

Palestinian legislative elections were last held in 2006, giving Hamas a majority.

But the parliament — elected for a statutory four-year term — has not met since the following year, when Hamas seized the Gaza Strip by force and drove Fatah out.

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