Excerpts from extended conversation with Ahmed Attoun, an E. Jerusalem self-described Islamist leader sent into…
Ahmed Attoun is an Islamist political leader in exile in Ramallah. Attoun was originally from East Jerusalem and was elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council from an East Jerusalem in district in 2006, running on a ticket associated with Hamas. Attoun denies that he is a member of Hamas, although both US and Israeli authorities assert that he has ties to the political wing of the Gaza-based militant group. Attoun has spent most of his adult life in jail. He was released for a time in 2010 — but as word of his imminent re-arrest circulated, Attoun and two Hamas-affiliated parliamentarians ran to the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in East Jerusalem to seek refuge. There they stayed for the next year and a half.
Then there was a car accident outside the ICRC. Attoun ran out to help the victims. It was the Shin Bet. Attoun was arrested, and shortly thereafter, exiled to Ramallah.
We filmed Attoun in his office, at home, going to demonstrations, and with his wife and children.