Israel deports convicted terrorist to France

Jerusalem Arab who plotted to kill former Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and was released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange has been deported to France.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel’s Interior Ministry announced Sunday morning that it had stripped a convicted terrorist of his residency rights and deported him to France, in a move that outgoing head of the ministry Ayelet Shaked called “a tremendous achievement.”

Salah Hamouri, an attorney from eastern Jerusalem, was not an Israeli citizen but a permanent resident of the nation’s capital. He spent some seven years incarcerated for his role in a terror plot to assassinate former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, Ovadia Yosef.

After being released from prison in 2011 as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange, Hamouri continued to engage in “his hostile, serious and significant” terror-related activity, and he was a member of the PFLP terror group, Israeli authorities say.

Hamouri, who has French citizenship, was rearrested by Israeli security forces in March 2022 and since then has been held in administrative detention, meaning that he poses such a significant risk to national security that he is imprisoned without charge or bail.

For years, Israeli authorities have expressed their intention to deport Hamouri, but he filed numerous motions with the courts to prevent that from occurring.

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“This was a long and protracted process,” Shaked said, acknowledging a drawn-out legal battle fought by the man in question.

It is a tremendous achievement that I was able to bring about his deportation just before the end of my duties, using the tools at my disposal to advance the fight against terrorism. I hope that the incoming government will continue along these lines and deport terrorists from Israel,” she added.

Heba Morayef, Amnesty International’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, told Al Jazeera that Hamouri was deported “in retaliation for his tireless campaigning for an end to Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians.”

Israeli NGO HaMoked bemoaned Shaked’s decision, calling it a “human rights violation.”

Neither Amnesty International nor HaMoked acknowledged that Hamouri was a convicted terrorist who plotted to murder a civilian.

In a voice message published by the Justice for Salah campaign, Hamouri told his supporters that he was being “forcibly deported and uprooted from my homeland.”

Hamouri pledged that he would always remain “loyal” to the Palestinian cause and continue working for Palestinian “freedom,” presumably from the State of Israel.