France slams Israel’s expulsion of French-Palestinian lawyer


French-Palestinian human rights lawyer Salah Hamouri, held with out cost in Israeli prisons since March accused of safety offences, arrived in Paris on Sunday following his expulsion from Israel condemned by Paris.

Hamouri, 37, had been held in Israel beneath a controversial observe often called administrative detention, which permits suspects to be detained for renewable durations of as much as six months.

He arrived on the French capital’s Charles de Gaulle airport on Sunday morning, an AFP correspondent noticed, the fruits of a prolonged judicial saga after his deportation.

“I have changed location but the fight continues,” an emotional Hamouri mentioned on the airport, the place he was welcomed by his spouse Elsa, politicians, NGO representatives and supporters of the Palestinian trigger.

“I have an enormous responsibility to my cause and people. We can’t abandon Palestine. Resistance is our right.”

Israel’s inside ministry earlier on Sunday introduced the deportation following Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked’s resolution to withdraw his residency standing.

“We condemn today the Israeli authorities’ decision, against the law, to expel Salah Hamouri to France,” the French international ministry mentioned in an announcement.

An Israeli army court docket sentenced Hamouri, who holds French citizenship, to administrative detention in March, accusing him of being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and mentioned he “endangers security in the region”.

Israel, the United States and the European Union contemplate the PFLP a “terrorist group”. It has been implicated in a number of lethal assaults on Israelis.

Hamouri denies hyperlinks to the PFLP.

– ‘Illegal’ deportation –

The French international ministry mentioned Paris had been “fully mobilised, including at the highest level of the state”, to allow Hamouri to defend his rights, profit from all doable help and lead a standard life in his native east Jerusalem.

“France also took several steps to communicate to the Israeli authorities in the clearest way its opposition to this expulsion of a Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem, an occupied territory under the Fourth Geneva Convention,” it added.

“It’s a happy day for a family reunited but for the Palestinian people, it’s a sad day,” Amnesty International’s France chief, Jean-Claude Samouiller, advised AFP.

He described the expulsion as a “crime of apartheid”.

Supporters mentioned Hamouri’s deportation from his birthplace by an “occupying power” was unlawful.

Amnesty International and French NGOs mentioned Hamouri’s deportation aimed to hinder his human rights work and was a part of Israel’s “long-term political objective to diminish the Palestinian population” of annexed east Jerusalem, which Palestinians need because the capital of a future state.

Hamouri has been arrested and jailed by Israeli authorities on a number of events, together with in 2005.

Following that arrest he was tried and convicted by an Israeli court docket on prices of plotting to assassinate Ovadia Yosef, a distinguished rabbi and religious chief of the ultra-Orthodox Shas political occasion.

Hamouri was launched in December 2011 as a part of a prisoner swap.

He has at all times maintained his innocence.

Born in east Jerusalem, Hamouri doesn’t have Israeli nationality, however he held a residency allow that Israeli authorities revoked.

“We didn’t think it was possible to deport somebody from his birthplace,” Hamouri’s mom Denise mentioned earlier.

Israel has occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem for the reason that 1967 Six-Day War.

Last month, he was knowledgeable he can be deported, however the expulsion was delayed as his attorneys contested the case.

– ‘A terrific achievement’ –

Earlier this month, Israeli authorities confirmed the revocation of his residency, paving the best way for Hamouri’s imminent expulsion regardless of a brand new administrative detention listening to scheduled for January 1.

“It is a great achievement to have been able to cause, just before the end of my term, his expulsion,” Interior Minister Shaked mentioned on Sunday.

Benjamin Netanyahu, winner of the November 1 legislative elections, is anticipated to type a brand new Israeli authorities with allies from ultra-Orthodox and far-right events.

Hamouri labored for the prisoner assist group Addameer. In November 2021 it was amongst six Palestinian civil society teams that Israel’s military mentioned may not function legally within the West Bank, after Defence Minister Benny Gantz mentioned they have been collaborating with the PFLP.

In April Hamouri, together with rights teams, filed a grievance in France in opposition to Israeli surveillance agency NSO Group for having “illegally infiltrated” his cell phone with the spyware and adware Pegasus.

He is one in every of a number of Palestinian activists whose telephones have been hacked utilizing the Pegasus malware, in response to a report in November by human rights teams.