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Israel renews detention of human rights defender held without charge

Salah Hammouri, French-Palestinian lawyer and field researcher at Palestinian NGO "Addameer (Conscience) for Prisoner Support and Human Rights", which supports political prisoners detained in Israel and in Palestinian prisons, and user of one of six devices reportedly hacked with NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, speaks before cameras at the offices of al-Haq Centre for Applied International Law in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on November 8, 2021. - An investigation by a European rights group published on November 8 found that Israeli-made Pegasus spyware was used to hack the phones of staff of Palestinian civil society groups targeted by Israel. The revelations by Frontline Defenders -- confirmed by Amnesty International and the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab -- mark the latest development in the widening controversy surrounding six prominent Palestinian groups designated as "terrorist" organisations by Israel's defence ministry last month. (Photo by ABBAS MOMANI / AFP) (Photo by ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images)
Salah Hammouri, French-Palestinian lawyer and field researcher at Palestinian NGO 'Addameer' on November 8, 2021 [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel has renewed the administrative detention of human rights defender Salah Hammouri, who has been held in prison since March. The renewal of the detention order for another three months was announced by the Israeli authorities on Sunday, one day before Hammouri's expected release.

His new detention order will now be scheduled to end on 4 December. However, it too can be extended under the unjust system which allows Israel to hold Palestinians on the basis of secret evidence with neither charge nor trial, indefinitely.

Hammouri, a French-Palestinian lawyer, works for Palestinian NGO Addameer. The #JusticeforSalah campaign called for his release and condemned the decision to renew his detention order.

"Only hours before his expected release from Hadarim Prison," it explained, "the Israeli occupation authorities renewed his administrative detention. Neither Salah nor his legal representative were informed about the renewal decision leaving him, his family and loved ones in a state of continuous anxiety and psychological distress."

Addameer also criticised the renewed detention order. "Such orders are part of the Israeli occupation's systematic and ongoing harassment campaign to suppress Palestinian human rights defenders and civil society," said the rights organisation.

The 36-year-old dual national spent eight years in an Israeli prison between 2006 and 2012. Last October, Israel revoked Hammouri's residency in Jerusalem and rejected his appeal against the decision in December. Furthermore, an Israeli court also ordered Hammouri to live in Kufr Aqab, on the edge of occupied East Jerusalem.

"We call on states, international institutions and all third parties to take concrete action against the Israeli occupation authorities' continued harassment and criminalisation of Palestinian human rights defenders and civil society," said Addameer. "We also call for the release of Salah Hammouri and all other Palestinian political prisoners held arbitrarily in Israeli prisons."

READ: Israel's closure of Palestine NGOs a result of US inaction, Congresswoman Tlaib says

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