ISRAEL: The Observatory and Amnesty International denounced the expulsion from Israel of the French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri

ISRAEL: The Observatory and Amnesty International denounced the expulsion from Israel of the French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri

The Left / Flickr / 2012

In a joint article published on the website of La Croix on 22 December 2022, Jerôme Gavaudan, President of the Observatory (OIAD), and Jean-Claude Samouiller, President of Amnesty International France, denounced the decision of Israel to expel the lawyer Salah Hamouri. 

Read the full article below:

Nine months. It has been more than nine months since the French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri was arrested, then placed in administrative detention in an Israeli prison. Without the right to a fair trial, without any charges being brought against him, and under the pretext that he “would threaten the security of the region”, he has seen his prison sentence renewed every three months by decision of a military court since March. 

This Sunday, he was deported from Israel to France, without further trial, while the hearing to set the date of his deportation was scheduled for January 1st. Today, we ask the Israeli authorities to reverse this decision, by allowing him to return to work in his country, and live in his native land with his family. 

A dangerous precedent 

The revocation of his right of residence and his expulsion from Israeli territory, which had been hanging over Salah Hamouri like a sword of Damocles for months, have indeed become a reality. This last decision constitutes in our opinion a serious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and a war crime. 

The expulsion of Salah Hamouri sets a dangerous precedent. It is based on an amendment to the law that allows the Israeli Ministry of the Interior to expel permanent residents (the legal status of the majority of Palestinians in Jerusalem) if they are found to be “in breach” of their allegiance to the State of Israel. This measure contradicts international law: allegiance to the occupying power on the part of the occupied population is not required. 

A normal life 

 On several occasions, the French authorities have expressed concern about his fate, up to and including President Emmanuel Macron, who inquired about his situation with the Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yair Lapid, on August 22. The international mobilization and the efforts of French diplomacy, whose repeated positions allowed the delay of these decisions for a time, are to be commended. 

In response to written questions from French parliamentarians on his situation, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs has repeatedly stated that Salah Hamouri should “be able to lead a normal life in Jerusalem, where he was born and where he resides”, and that “his wife and children (should) be allowed to go there to find him”. The ministry also strongly condemned this weekend “the decision of the Israeli authorities, contrary to the law, to deport Mr. Salah Hamouri to France. 

It is not too late to reverse this decision. The Observatory is working with Amnesty International France to try to reverse this decision and organize his return to East Jerusalem. By persisting in this course, the Israeli government is in effect endorsing a practice that is unfortunately known in other authoritarian states in the region, namely the obstacles to the exercise of the profession of lawyer, and the expulsion of any person likely to harm the image of the government.