Israel to Extend Detention of French-Palestinian Lawyer by 3 Months (VIDEO)

French Palestinian human rights lawyer Salah Hamouri. (Photo: via Social Media)

On Saturday, French Palestinian lawyer Salah Hamouri will attend a confirmation hearing in Jerusalem District Court where his colleagues at the Palestinian NGO Addameer are told, his administrative detention order will be renewed for at least three months.

Hamouri, a human rights defender and field researcher with Addameer, which supports Palestinian political prisoners, was taken from his home in a pre-dawn raid by Israeli forces on August 23, 2017.

He has since been held by Israel in administrative detention, a practice in which detainees are held indefinitely without charge or trial on the basis of secret evidence.

In the occupied West Bank, where only the Palestinian population is subjected to Israeli military law, Israeli Military Order 1651 permits administrative detention orders for up to six months. These orders can be renewed repeatedly.

Dawoud Yusef, the advocacy coordinator at Addameer, said:

“If there were real claims against Salah, and other human rights defenders, they would be charged rather than held under administrative detention.”

Palestinian legislators, civil society organizations, lawyers, academics, journalists, activists, and artists are routinely subjected to punitive measures by the Israeli government.

Addameer reports that there are 6,036 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons. Among them is Palestinian legislator and former director of Addameer Khalida Jarrar, whose administrative detention order was extended by an Israeli military court for four months on 16 June.

No evidence has been presented against Jarrar, who has been imprisoned for a year without charge or trial.

Yusef said:

“There are two conclusions that can be drawn from Salah’s case. Either governments do not, in fact, pressure the Israelis on these types of cases, despite having a distinct responsibility to do so in defense of their citizens; or that diplomatic means are powerless in the face of the will of the occupation. I tend to believe it is somewhere in the middle. Western governments are reluctant to pressure Israel with anything more than mild requests and rebukes. While they continue to provide material support, there is no reason for the Israelis to change their actions.”

Les prisonnieres et les prisonniers palestiniens sont loin de leurs familles et de leurs proches en ce premier jour de la fête marquant la fin du Ramadan.Aid Mubarak

Gepostet von Salah Hamouri am Freitag, 15. Juni 2018

During a December meeting in Tel Aviv, French President Emmanuel Macron asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to release Hamouri; though Macron has, so far, refused to meet Hamouri’s wife, Elsa Lefort. Israel has banned Lefort from entering Palestine.

This is not the first time Hamouri has had to contend with either the Israeli military detention system or the languor of the French government. As a student, Hamouri was wrongly convicted by an Israeli military court of conspiracy to assassinate a rabbi and of membership of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLFP).

It was only six months before the end of his six years sentence that the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alain Juppé, admitted that the case against Hamouri was baseless. This was the first time a French minister spoke in Hamouri’s defense.

Human Rights Watch’s Israel and Palestine Director, Omar Shakir, has described Hamouri’s detention as “outrageous”.  Shakir, a US citizen, was himself the subject of a crackdown on human rights groups by the Israeli government in early May when a deportation order was issued against him.

Israel’s interior minister, Aryeh Deri, accused Shakir of being active in the Nobel-nominated Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement; revealing that the Israeli government had compiled an intelligence dossier on Shakir.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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