Human Lives Human Rights: The UN Human Rights Office on Monday condemned Israel’s recent deportation of Palestinian-French human rights defender Salah Hammouri to France.
“We are deeply concerned by the chilling message this sends to those working on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory,” UN Human Rights spokesperson Jeremy Laurence said in a statement after the decision issued on Sunday.
The Human Rights Office said Israeli authorities revoked Hammouri’s residency in occupied East Jerusalem based on a “breach of allegiance to the State of Israel.”
Hammouri, a lawyer with the Palestinian human rights organisation Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, was arrested by Israeli Security Forces in March and placed under administrative detention without any charge or trial.
“International humanitarian law prohibits the deportation of protected persons from occupied territory and explicitly forbids compelling such persons to swear allegiance to the occupying power,” said Lawrence.
“Deporting a protected person from occupied territory is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, constituting a war crime.”
The rights office said Hammouri’s deportation highlights the vulnerable situation of Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, as the occupying country has granted them a revocable residency status under Israeli law.
“It also marks another serious deterioration in the situation for Palestinian human rights defenders,” said Lawrence.
The UN Human Rights Office called on Israel to reverse the deportation order and to stop using such allegations to halt legitimate human rights work.