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Israel re-arrests Palestinian-French rights activist who published details of harassment

Salah Hamouri, Franco-Palestinian lawyer and field researcher for ADDAMEER (Conscience) Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, gives an interview with AFP at the NGO's offices in the West Bank city of Ramallah on October 1, 2020 [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images]
Palestinian-French human rights defender Salah Hamouri  in the West Bank city of Ramallah on October 1, 2020 [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images]

Palestinian-French human rights defender Salah Hamouri was detained by Israel soldiers at his home in Kufr Aqab, north of Jerusalem, during a dawn raid yesterday, according to prisoners' rights group Addameer.

Hamouri was taken to the Ofer detention centre, near Ramallah, a member of Addameer told the New Arab, adding that no information about the lawyer's current legal status was given.

His re-arrest came after publishing a piece titled, We Are Palestinians, and We Refuse to Leave Our Homeland, detailing his repeated arrests since the age of 16, when he was shot in the leg and arrested for five months simply for distributing flyers and being a member of a student union.

He wrote, "This isn't what I want for my children. But it is better they know that I fought for justice rather than passively accepting ethnic cleansing, better that I do all I can to remain steadfast in our land than acquiesce to Israel's harassment."

"I am continuing with my struggle because I want all Palestinians to live with freedom and dignity, and I know this will not come without a fight, without sacrifice on the part of those willing to take a stand."

The 36-year-old dual national spent eight years in an Israeli prison between 2006 and 2012.

READ: Palestinian prisoners escalate protests against Israel prison service

In October, Israel revoked Hamouri's residency in Jerusalem and rejected his appeal against the decision in December. In addition to this, an Israeli court also ordered Hamouri to reside in Kufr Aqab, in the central West Bank district of Jerusalem.

His wife, Elsa Lefort Hamouri, who had been actively involved in the campaign for his release, told the New Arab that prior to his arrest yesterday, Salah had been "completely isolated from his professional, social and family universe".

"He was banned from crossing any checkpoint and had to remain within the boundaries of Kufr Aqab," she said.

"It was impossible for him to plead in court or to meet his clients in person. In addition, he recently learned that Israeli authorities revoked his medical insurance under the excuse that he is no longer a resident of Jerusalem."

In a statement, Addameer calls on "States, international institutions, and all third parties to take concrete action against Israeli occupation authorities' continued harassment and criminalization of Palestinian human rights defenders and civil society and to call for the release of Salah Hammouri and all Palestinian political prisoners arbitrarily held in Israeli prisons."

Salah Hamouri behind Israei bars - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Salah Hamouri behind Israei bars – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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