Israel-OPT : [FOLLOW UP] Ongoing judicial harassment of Salah Hamouri

08/07/2021
Urgent Appeal

New information
ISR 001 / 0720 / OBS 076.3
Judicial harassment
Israel / Occupied Palestinian Territory
July 8, 2021

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your intervention in the following situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the ongoing judicial harassment of Salah Hamouri, a Franco-Palestinian lawyer who works with Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Addameer) [1] in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

On June 29, 2021, the Israeli Minister of the Interior, Ayelet Shaked, announced the adoption of the recommendations made by the Israeli intelligence services to revoke the permanent residency of Salah Hamouri based on “breach of allegiance”. To enter into force, the revocation of Mr. Hamouri’s residency must still be approved by the Israeli Attorney General, Avichai Mendelblit, and the Israeli Minister of Justice, Gideon Sa’ar. If this measure was implemented, Salah Hamouri, who was born and has lived in Jerusalem since 1985, would be permanently expelled from his country of origin without being able to return.

The Observatory recalls that on September 3, 2020, Mr. Salah Hamouri received a letter from Aryé Deri, the then Israeli Minister of the Interior, informing him of his intention to withdraw Mr. Hamouri’s permanent residence card in Jerusalem on the grounds that Mr. Hamouri was allegedly implementing hostile activities against the state of Israel. This decision is based on article 11 a) of the Entry into Israel Law of 1952, which allows Israeli authorities to decide whether Palestinians of Jerusalem can live in their homeland [2].

The Observatory further recalls that Mr. Salah Hamouri has been harassed for years and was arbitrarily detained several times by the Israeli authorities because of his peaceful human rights activities. On October 14, 2020, United Nations human rights experts expressed their concerns in a letter to the Israeli authorities about the “misuse of administrative and criminal law proceedings against Mr. Hammouri”.

The Observatory expresses its utmost concern over the threat of imminent expulsion of Salah Hamouri from his hometown of Jerusalem as it seems to be only aimed at punishing him for the exercise of his legitimate human rights activities.

The Observatory calls on the Israeli’s authorities to refrain from withdrawing Salah Hamouri’s permanent residence card and to put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial level, against him and all other human rights defenders in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Israel urging them to:

i. Refrain from withdrawing Salah Hamouri’s permanent residence card as it would only aim at punishing him for the exercise of his legitimate human rights activities;

ii. Put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Salah Hamouri, his family, and all the human rights defenders in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

iii. Ensure Salah Hamouri’s right to travel abroad and return to Israel freely; authorise Salah Hamouri’s wife, Elsa Lefort, a French national, and their son, to freely re-enter Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

iv. Ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory in accordance with international human rights instruments.

Addresses:

• Mr. Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister of Israel; Email: nbennett@knesset.gov.il, pm_eng@pmo.gov.il; Twitter: @naftalibennett
• Mr. Benny Gantz, Minister of Defense; Email: bgantz@knesset.gov.il; Twitter: @gantzbe
• Mr. Yair Lapid, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Email: sar@mfa.gov.il, ylapid@knesset.gov.il
• Ms. Ayelet Shaked, Minister of the Interior; Twitter: @Ayelet__Shaked
• Mr. Gideon Sa’ar, Minister of Justice; E-mail: sar@justice.gov.il, gsaar@knesset.gov.il; Twitter: @gidonsaar
• Mr. Avichai Mandelblit, State Attorney; Email: state-attorney@justice.gov.il
• H.E. Ambassador Ms. Meirav Eilon Shahar, Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; Email: mission-israel@geneva.mfa.gov.il
• H.E. Ambassador Aharon Leshno-Yaar; Mission of Israel to the European Union and NATO; Email: ambassador-sec-eu@brussels.mfa.gov.il

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Israel in your respective countries.

***
Paris-Geneva, July 8, 2021

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu , the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
• E-mail: appeals@fidh-omct.org
• Tel FIDH: + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18
• Tel OMCT: + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39

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