Israeli court extends detention of Salah Hamouri with 'deportation still looming'
Israeli court renewed on Monday the administrative detention of Palestinian-French human rights lawyer Salah Hamouri for an additional three months.
Hamouri has been detained without charges since his arrest in March from his residency in Kufr Aqab, between Jerusalem and Ramallah.
Hamouri had been living in Kufr Aqab since Israeli authorities revoked his residency rights in Jerusalem last October.
Outrageous! Israel has detained French-Palestinian @salah_hamouri without charge or trial since March, outlawed rights org he works for & revoked his legal status in Jerusalem. His flight embodies the struggle of Palestinian human rights defenders challenging Israel's apartheid https://t.co/Oa1iTrRVZS pic.twitter.com/FB56B8hiim— Omar Shakir (@OmarSShakir) September 4, 2022
Hamouri's wife and children have been banned from entering the country since 2016, which forced him to live in constant travel between France and the Palestinian territories until his Jerusalem residency revocation on the grounds of "lack of allegiance" to the state of Israel.
"Salah has been in legal limbo since his arrest with the real possibility of deportation looming at the end of his detention," a source at Addameer Prisoner Support Association told The New Arab.
"The renewal of his detention order might indicate that Israeli authorities are still undecided to deport Salah," said the source. "If carried out, it would be the first deportation ever of a Palestinian based on the so-called ‘lack of allegiance’, and a dangerous precedent," they pointed out.
🚨La détention administrative de Salah Hamouri est prolongée de 3 mois, soit jusqu’au 4 décembre 2022.#LiberezSalah #FreeSalahHamouri #JusticeForSalah pic.twitter.com/WMgo5sRBRM— Liberté pour Salah Hamouri (@LiberezSalah) September 4, 2022
In late July, Israeli authorities moved Hamouri to a maximum-security prison, classifying him as a 'highly dangerous inmate' after a letter he addressed to the French president on the occasion of the French Bastille day from his prison.
In the letter, Hamouri urged the French government to act on his behalf and put pressure on Israel to end the administrative detention policy.
In May, Hamouri addressed a complaint to the International Criminal Court, urging it to investigate Israel's crimes.
In April, Hamouri pressed a case before French justice against the Israeli NSO group for having his phone hacked by the company's 'Pegasus' malware, while on French soil.
🔴 La détention de l’avocat et défenseur des droits franco-palestinien Salah Hamouri a été une nouvelle fois prolongée par une cour militaire.— Amnesty International France (@amnestyfrance) September 5, 2022
Cette détention est totalement injuste.@EmmanuelMacron vous devez défendre ce citoyen français ! https://t.co/CUcPCy3hVb
Hamouri had been arrested several times, including serving a seven-year sentence in Israeli jails between 2005 and 2012 for charges of anti-Israeli militantism during the second Intifada.
Since his release in 2012, Hamouri pursued his studies in law and engaged in the defence of Palestinian prisoners before Israeli courts, in which he pleaded hundreds of times as an accredited attorney. He also formed a family with his French-national wife, Elsa Lefort.
In previous comments given to The New Arab, Lefort described her husband's forced residency in Kufr Aqab as "completely isolated from his professional, social and family universe, banned from crossing any checkpoint and had to remain in the boundaries of Kufr Aqab".
"It was impossible for him to plead in court or to meet his clients in person," she added.
Several human rights organizations have expressed support for Hamouri's case, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
Currently, some 670 Palestinians are held in administrative detention, without charges in Israeli jails, according to human rights groups.