Salah Hamouri: Israel deports a French-Palestinian lawyer


Israel deported a Franco-Palestinian lawyer it accused of organizing, inciting and planning “terrorist attacks” in France early Sunday morning, Israeli authorities said, in a case an Israeli human rights organization described as “serious violation of basic rights”.

Salah Hamouri’s Israeli residency was revoked two weeks ago due to Israeli accusations that he was active in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), according to Israel’s interior ministry. The FPLP is designated by the European Union and the United States as a terrorist organization.

“During his life he organized, incited and planned to carry out terrorist attacks himself and for the organization against citizens and prominent figures of Israel,” the interior ministry said in a statement.

In a voice message posted Sunday on the official Palestinian Civil Society Campaign for Hamouri Instagram account, Hamouri said he was being “forcefully deported and uprooted from my land.”

“I leave you today from prison to exile. But rest assured that I will always be the person you know. Always loyal to you and your freedom,” Hamouri said in the message.

Hamouri, who has been in an Israeli prison since March in administrative detention without formal charges, has denied involvement in terrorist organizations and human rights groups have condemned Israel’s actions.

“Deporting a Palestinian from his homeland for breach of allegiance to the state of Israel is a dangerous precedent and a serious violation of basic rights,” human rights organization HaMoked said in a statement on Sunday.

The Israel-based organization called Hamouri’s deportation a “serious violation of basic rights.”

France’s Foreign Ministry said the deportation was “against the law”.

The ministry said that France has been working “to ensure that Mr. Salah Hamouri’s rights are respected, that he benefits from all resources and that he can lead a normal life in Jerusalem, where he was born, resides and wishes to live.” .

The statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses France’s “opposition to the expulsion of a Palestinian resident in East Jerusalem, a territory occupied under the Fourth Geneva Convention.” Israel disputes that East Jerusalem, which it captured in 1967, is occupied territory.

Hamouri had previously been detained by Israeli authorities. He has always maintained his innocence in the face of the Israeli accusations against him.

In 2005 he was tried and convicted for working on a plot to assassinate Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, founder of the ultra-Orthodox political party Shas.

He was released in 2011 as part of an exchange of 1,027 Palestinian and other Arab prisoners held by Israel as part of a deal to free Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas in 2006.

Since then he has been living and working as a lawyer in Jerusalem, including working as a human rights lawyer for Adameer, an organization that helps Palestinian prisoners. Adameer was banned by Israel earlier this year in a move condemned by UN officials.

Hamouri was born in East Jerusalem, although he also holds French nationality.

Leah Tsemel, Hamouri’s lawyer, told CNN on Sunday that Hamouri’s case is a “test bullet” for the Interior Ministry to deny East Jerusalem residents residency.

“We will have to address the issue in principle in a petition to the Supreme Court soon on the unconstitutionality of denying residency to a person who was born in Jerusalem under occupation and has no duty of loyalty, the violation of which is the reason. to deny their residency,” Zemel told CNN.

HaMoked previously appealed the decision to revoke Hamouri’s residency and sought an injunction to prevent his deportation until his case challenging the legality of the law is heard, but the Supreme Court reject both allegations.

HaMoked said he may submit a new petition to the High Court once the new Israeli government takes power in the coming weeks.

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