French-Palestinian activist and human rights defender Salah Hammouri faces harsh movement restriction in Ramallah. His family members live in Jerusalem and Paris to both groups he has no direct access currently.
Salah Hammouri, a rights activist, is battling expulsion from his birthplace. Israeli government charged Hammouri with a “breach of allegiance to the State of Israel”. Tel Aviv also classified him as a “security threat,” prompting the decision to remove him.
Hammouri is a Palestinian lawyer who resides in Jerusalem. The human rights advocate has also a French citizenship and has been unable to see his wife in France for a while. Referring to Israeli restrictions on his life an movement, the Palestinian activists say “I’m living in limbo because I can’t plan the next 24-hours of my life. I’m unable to leave Ramallah because I’m scared of being arrested if I cross the checkpoints into Israel.”
Five years earlier, Hammouri’s wife faced rejection after applying for an entry to Israel. Elsa is a French woman and is pregnant currently. “I can’t visit my home and family in Jerusalem, and I can’t leave the country to travel to France to see my wife and children because I will not be allowed to return,” Salah Hammouri explained.
He further explained that her wife was in a de-facto custody in Ben Gurion airport on her arrival in 2016. She only succeeded in releasing after a deport to France after a few days. Her Palestinian husband used to visit her and his children in France but new condition put him in a fence.
Salah Hammouri is currently in Ramallah and can’t even cross to his homeland Jerusalem to visit his family. Israel’s vague accusation left him in an undecided condition of an open span of time.
Salah Hammouri; Breach of Allegiance
Israeli officials first informed Salah Hammouri about the suspension of his residency one month ago. The Israeli minister of interior affairs announces the hazy “breach of allegiance to the State of Israel” as the reason behind the decision. The ruling had received confirmation by Israeli Attorney General and Minister of Justice in advance.
It was first in 2020 that Hammouri received the interior ministry’s notification about residence suspension. He had a one-month chance to file a formal appeal to the ruling, according to Israeli sources. “Deportation and leaving my home country are out of the question. Israel has no right to deport Palestinians from their homeland nor to deny us the right to live in our own cities,” Salah Hammouri responded to the move.
Loads of Palestinian citizens have been residing in Jerusalem and Israel “illegally” if we consider Israeli constitution as the base. That means that Israeli administration avoids giving people residing in the West Bank or their foreigner spouses residence status. The segregation gets clearer understanding that Israeli Jewish citizens can take citizenship for their foreign spouses easily.
Article 45 of The Hague Conventions, besides Article 68(3) of the 4th Geneva Convention, expressly prohibits an invading authority from requiring allegiance from the locals. As such, Tel Aviv’s initiative to suspend residence status from the local Palestinians, breaches international regulations. These two conventions obviously argue that the occupier’s legislation cannot thwart the occupied legislation.
HRW study certified three years ago that Israel has stripped the residence for at about 15,000 Palestinian citizens of in 50-year span. The major excuse was their having a “centre of life” besides Jerusalem. Salah Hammouri is the first case to lose residence due to a “breach of allegiance.” This means Israel takes off the mask after long years.
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