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Israel to finalise deportation of French-Palestinian lawyer

Denise Guidoux (L) the mother of French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri, and his lawyer Leah Tsemel (not seen) give a press conference in east Jerusalem [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]
Denise Guidoux (L) the mother of French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri, and his lawyer Leah Tsemel (not seen) give a press conference in east Jerusalem [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]

An Israeli court has extended the administrative detention of French-Palestinian human rights defender and lawyer Salah Hamouri, pending a further hearing about his proposed deportation to France. He is being held with neither charge nor trial.

According to Addameer Human Rights Association, the decision to deport Jerusalem-born Hamouri from his home in occupied East Jerusalem having revoked his residency permit will be finalised in the hearing scheduled for 1 January. However, under administrative detention, he can be held indefinitely on the basis of secret evidence that he cannot challenge. Experts have said that he is alleged to have been involved in "terrorist activities" and a "breach of allegiance" to the occupation state.

Israel reaffirmed the revocation of Hamouri's permanent residency in Jerusalem on 30 November. The threat to deport him is still very much real despite France condemning the planned expulsion in an online briefing on Monday.

"He must be able to exercise all his rights and lead a normal life in Jerusalem, his city of birth and residence," said French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre. French officials, she added, have met with their Israeli counterparts to express their opposition to the proposal.

Hamouri has been held in prison since March. He is a human rights lawyer known for advocating for the rights of prisoners, including torture survivors. Since July, he has been detained at a high-security prison in degrading conditions as a form of punishment after he went on hunger strike and appealed to French President Emmanuel Macron to urge Israel to end his detention.

The lawyer works with Addameer – an internationally-respected organisation – and the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture. Israel designated Addameer and other Palestinian civil society organisations as "terrorist" groups and "unlawful" in October 2021.

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