Israel’s expulsion of the Palestinian human rights lawyer Salah Hamouri to France is a “war crime,” the UN human rights office claimed Monday. “Deporting a protected person from occupied territory is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, constituting a war crime,” UN human rights spokesman Jeremy Laurence said in a statement, referring to occupied East Jerusalem.
A protest vigil held in Gaza on Monday against the expulsion of the Palestinian human rights lawyer Salah Hamouri to France (Photo: Adameer)
In condemning the expulsion, Laurence said: “We are deeply concerned by the chilling message this sends to those working on human rights” in East Jerusalem, which is sought by the Palestinians as the capital of a potential future state.
Israel said that since then Hamouri has used his Jerusalem residency to continue “his hostile, serious and significant activity.” Outgoing Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked decided to strip Hamouri of his residency rights in October 2021.
Announcing his deportation on Sunday morning, Shaked praised it as a “tremendous achievement” coming at the end of her tenure as interior minister.
Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman, accused Shaked of committing a “war crime” by deporting Hamouri. She said: “Minister Shaked probably says to herself every morning: I only have a few days left in office. What other crime can I commit before I leave? This is exactly how you can describe what was done with Shaked’s order to deport attorney Hamouri, a Palestinian from East Jerusalem after many months of administrative detention.”
“The deportation order was accepted and carried out despite a pending legal process in Hamouri’s case, as he was scheduled to have a hearing on the same matter exactly at the beginning of next year,” she added. “Hamouri’s deportation from his homeland is a war crime,” said Touma-Sliman. “His administrative arrest is also defined as a war crime, but Minister Shaked found it important to trample, run over and commit crimes on her way out as well. It seems that Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked believes that this is how she will be able to silence and subjugate the Palestinians.”
Touma-Sliman concluded her remarks by saying, “Until today, a lot of bureaucracy has caused the ethnic cleansing [of Palestinians] from occupied East Jerusalem and the denial of their residency. Now it is done in a very visible way using instructions. A precedent that we must not remain silent about.”