On December 18, 2022, French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hammouri was deported from his home city of Jerusalem and forced into exile in France. Since that time he has been adjusting to this new reality, while the campaign has taken a short break in order to regroup, strategize and plan the next steps. We are now prepared to continue our work and invite all partners and supporters to join us in advancing the struggle for justice for Salah.
Salah’s deportation was the culmination of more than twenty-two years of persecution that he suffered at the hands of the Apartheid Israeli state. His nine months of arbitrary detention without charges or trial, and the war crime of forcible deportation that followed, was preceded by repeated arrest, forced family separation, withdrawal of residency rights, the use of Pegasus spyware on Salah’s phone, and the other crimes covered by the campaign.
The pain of Salah’s deportation was further exacerbated by the inhuman manner in which he was escorted by Israeli intelligence agents and hand-cuffed throughout his flight from Tel Aviv to Paris. Since then Salah has been living in Paris with his family. The measures taken against Salah sets an extremely dangerous precedent that will pave the way for similar action against any Palestinian who fights against the injustices Palestinians are facing on a daily basis.
Despite the need for adjustment and recuperation, Salah has since December been undertaking numerous in-person and online events, interviews, and media coverage throughout Europe and the Middle East. Salah addressed very important audiences in the French Senate, Parliament as well as the European Union. Parties from both the political left and center have taken up Salah’s cause, in addition to the major national and international human rights organizations that have long advocated on his behalf. However, it is apparent that there is an intention to continue the harassment of Salah, and we have already seen defamation and silencing attempts by Israeli officials and pro-Israel organizations in France. These attacks do not come as a surprise, as oppressive regimes are known for undertaking such tactics, and there are wider attempts to silence advocacy on Palestine across the globe. However, this will not discourage the campaign from continuing its work to achieve justice for Salah.
In light of the above, we invite you all to continue your support for the campaign that aims to raise awareness of Salah’s situation, the threats and atrocities taking place in Jerusalem, and Israel’s egregious deportation policies. The campaign further aims to advance the past year’s advocacy efforts to ensure that the persecution of Salah and all Palestinian human rights defenders is ended and to contribute to the ultimate objective of achieving Salah’s right of return and that of all Palestinian refugees and deportees.
We wish to thank all partners for their dedication and support thus far and look forward to the work ahead.