PCHR Condemns Deportation of Palestinian Human Rights Defender Salah Al-Hammouri to France
Date: 20 December 2022
Time: 08:05 GMT
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the Israeli occupation authorities’ deportation of Palestinian human rights defender Salah Hasan al-Hamouri (37) to France few months after being under administration detention allegedly for “breaching allegiance to the State of Israel”; thus, this deportation amounts to a war crime.
PCHR believes that this deportation seriously indicates the return to the policy of deportation and forced displacement from the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) that has been adopted by Israel throughout its years of occupation, noting that over the past years the deportation has mainly occurred within the oPt.
According to PCHR’s follow-up, on Monday morning, 18 December 2022, the Israeli occupation authorities deported lawyer and human rights defender Salah al-Hammouri (37) to France after serving 9 months of administrative detention under the pretext of breaching the allegiance to the State of Israel.
The Israeli Ministry of the Interior announced in a statement “the deportation of Salah al-Hammouri to France came upon the Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked ‘s decision to revoke his residence permit.” He added that the Ministry’s staff accompanied al-Hammouri on a private jet to France, where his wife, son and daughter were waiting for him.
According to PCHR’s fieldworker, the Israeli occupation authorities informed al-Hammouri last November that he would be deported at the beginning of December to France, but his deportation was delayed following a series of hearings before the military judiciary, during which, al-Hammouri’s lawyers appealed the decision of deporting him and revoking his permanent residence status in occupied East Jerusalem.
Al-Hammouri is a Palestinian born in occupied East Jerusalem to a Palestinian father and a French mother and holding the French citizenship. He is married to a French woman and the father of two. He is a lawyer and a human rights defender, who previously worked at Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.
Over the past years, al-Hamouri was subject to an Israeli Occupation Forces systematic campaign, starting from his administrative and arbitrary detention, hacking his phone, putting him under surveillance, and ending with revoking his Jerusalemite ID card. IOF arrested al-Hamouri between 2005 and 2011 and sentenced him to 15 years in prison but was released in 2011 before ending his sentence in Gelad Shalit prisoner exchange. During the last ten years, he was subject to administrative detention several times. In November 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Interior revoked al-Hamouri’s residency in Jerusalem allegedly for “breaching allegiance to Israel.”. On 07 March 2022, he was held under administrative detention without trial or charges until it was decided to deport him to France.
PCHR strongly condemns the deportation of al-Hamouri and revoke of his Jerusalemite residency, warning of any Israeli authorities’ trend towards conducting more deportations in parallel with the forced displacements in East Jerusalem, as part of their apartheid policy. PCHR emphasizes that al-Hamouri’s deportation is part of a systematic campaign against human rights defenders attempting to undermine their work.
PCHR stresses that forced displacement and illegal deportation from the oPt constitute a grave violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and amount to a war crime and a crime against humanity under the Rome Statute.
PCHR urges the International Criminal Court to include this violation within its investigations into the situation in Palestine, as it falls under its jurisdiction, to ensure that Israel shall be held accountable for committing such grave violations of the international law rules.