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I am continuing with my struggle because I want all Palestinians to live with freedom and dignity, and I know this will not come without a fight, without sacrifice on the part of those willing to take a stand.

Salah Hammouri is a French-Palestinian, lawyer, human rights defender, and former political prisoner who has become synonymous with the Palestinian struggle for justice in Jerusalem. His unwavering resistance to regular harassment, arrest, and attempted deportation by Israeli authorities makes him one of the most prominent examples of Palestinian steadfastness, a beloved son of the city, and a symbol of anti-colonial struggle globally.

Salah was born in 1985 in Jerusalem, Palestine, to a Palestinian father and a French mother. His life was shaped by the experience of growing up amidst the grave injustices of Israeli colonisation and occupation, witnessing its daily violence and brutality. These experiences began as a young child, aged four, Salah witnessed firsthand the violent arrest of his closest uncle, Haitham, who was dragged from his home. Salah regularly accompanied his father on prison visits to see his uncle, on one occasion not recognising him due to his rapid change in his appearance, brought on by the circumstances of Israeli imprisonment. During such visits Salah acquired a keen understanding of the humiliating and dehumanising circumstances around him.

They have nothing in their whole imperial arsenal that can break the spirit of one Irishman who doesn't want to be broken.

As a teenager, Salah mobilised to fight the cruel system he had seen all around him as a child. His activism included participating, with thousands of other young Palestinians, in public protests and student union activism as part of the wider Palestinian mobilization around the Second Intifada. 

Since that moment, and in order to destroy his indomitable spirit of resistance, Israeli occupation authorities have subjected him to 22 years of unbearable and unremitting cruelty with the aim of destroying his spirit and of expelling him from his home in Jerusalem. 

In order to achieve this, Israel has employed all the violent means at its disposal against him. Since the age of 15 he has been shot, repeatedly incarcerated (often without trial) and subject to arbitrary arrests, travel bans, restrictions on movement, residency and health insurance revocation, deportation of family, phone tapping using Pegasus spyware and extreme psychological and economic pressure. Yet he has refused to submit to Israel’s harassment, always standing firm and inspiring others with the force of his example.

In 2022 Salah was held for nine months under administrative detention, without charges or trial. On September 25, Salah entered a hunger strike against his arbitrary detention, alongside other Palestinian political prisoners. As a result, he was moved to a solitary confinement cell on 28 September where he endured 15 days of suffering and ill-treatment. 

On December 18, 2022, Salah was unlawfully and forcibly deported to France. The devastating consequences of his deportation give a renewed urgency to the growing campaign for his return. All people of conscience around the world are called to join, to mobilize for Salah’s return and for justice for the Palestinian people!

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