Ruhi al-Khatib

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Ruhi al-Khatib

Ruhi al-Khatib (1914–1994; Arabic: روحي الخطيب‎, Ruḥi al-Khateeb) was the mayor of Al-Quds (East Jerusalem).

Elected in 1957, his term came to an end on 29 June 1967, when Israel dissolved the city council of East Jerusalem following its conquest of the city in the Six Day War.[1]

In the three weeks from the day the Israeli conquest of the city until the dissolution of the city council of East Jerusalem, Al-Khatib was working to immediately reinstate the municipal services and restore the calm to the city. He even helped in dealing with sensitive issues such as the surrender of weapons held by the civilian population and the removal of squatters from the destroyed synagogues in the Jewish Quarter of the Old city of Jerusalem. His actions attracted criticisms from fellow Arabs, who accused him of collaborating with Israel. However, his dismissal made him a vocal opponent of Israel.[1]

Al-Khatib did not recognise his dismissal and remained in Jerusalem. He continued to work as director of the Arab Hotels Company and the Jerusalem Electric Company. In March 1968 he was deported to Jordan as his presence in Jerusalem was deemed a danger to the security of Israel. He was not allowed to take anything with him.

His wife and two children, who learned of his expulsion from the radio, decided to stay in Jerusalem, hoping for his return. In the autumn of 1969, Mrs Khatib was arrested and sentenced to three months in prison. After protests from many people, she was released after fifteen days. She was then given a permit to visit her husband and undergo an operation in Beirut. When she tried to return to Jerusalem after her convalescence, she was turned away at the border and refused entry.[1][2]

Al-Khatib returned to the West Bank in May 1993, and he died 5 July 1994.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Meron Benvenisti (2002), "Sacred Landscape: Buried History of the Holy Land Since 1948.", University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-23422-7 
  2. ^ David Gilmour: Dispossessed. The Ordeal of the Palestinians. Sphere books, Great Britain, 1983, (first published in 1980), p. 136-137.