Alert: Al-Haq condemns the revocation of lawyer and human rights defender Salah Hammouri’s Jerusalem residency on spurious grounds of “breach of allegiance” as a dangerous precedent, calls on the international community to immediately intervene
Al-Haq strongly condemns the revocation of lawyer and human rights defender, Mr Salah Hammouri’s permanent Jerusalem residency for an alleged “breach of allegiance to the State of Israel”. The revocation of Mr Hammouri’s residency makes for an unwarranted and dangerous precedent which may see Israel escalate sweeping revocations of Jerusalem residencies premised on the unlawful application of its so-called “breach of allegiance” amendment to protected persons in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) under Amendment No. 30 to the Entry into Israel Law of 1952. Al-Haq warns that the revocation of Mr Hammouri’s residency constitutes a direct act of forcible transfer, which is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and may amount to the war crime of forcible transfer and an inhumane act apartheid under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Salah Hammouri, 36 is a Palestinian-French human rights defender and a lawyer at Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. On 18 October 2021, Salah was officially notified of the Israeli Minister of Interior’s decision to revoke his permanent Jerusalem residency for so-called “breach of allegiance” to the State of Israel. Israel has long carried out continuous harassment against Salah and his family. Previously, Israel banned Salah from the West Bank for almost 16 months and deported his wife, Elsa Lefort, a French national, separating Salah from his wife and son.
Through an unlawful extension of its domestic law to the OPT, Israel has applied the Entry into Israel Law which grants the Israeli Minister of Interior the authority to revoke the Jerusalem permanent residency status based on an alleged “breach of allegiance” to the State of Israel. The law is unlawfully applied to the protected Palestinian population in occupied and illegally annexed East Jerusalem, to force their transfer from the City, in violation of the limited administration of Israel, the Occupying Power in occupied Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine. Moreover, under Article 45 of the Hague Regulations and Article 68(3) of the Fourth Geneva Convention, the protected population in occupied territory does not have a duty of allegiance to the Occupying Power.
Residency revocation has long been part of Israeli policies of dispossession and demographic manipulation in Jerusalem, aimed at establishing an Israeli Jewish majority in the city, and falls within Israel’s institutionalised regime of oppression and apartheid. Residency revocations, including punitive revocations such as Salah Hammouri’s, flagrantly violate numerous provisions of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. Revocation of residency amounts to forcible transfer, a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Furthermore, as residency revocations form part of a widespread and systematic policy to transfer the protected Palestinian population and to consolidate Israel’s apartheid regime, it constitutes crimes against humanity of forced displacement and of apartheid.
- Calls on Israel, the Occupying Power, to void the revocation of Salah Hammouri’s residency status, which results in violations of his rights to freedom of movement and residence, freedom of expression, and freedom of association;
- Urges Israel to immediately cease any and all practices and policies intended to intimidate and silence human rights defenders, in violation of their right to freedom of expression, including through arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment, institutionalised hate speech and incitement, residency revocation, deportations, and other coercive or punitive measures;
- Calls on Israel to immediately repeal its Entry into Israel Law (1952), which has been used to further the Israeli policy of population transfer and achieve demographic goals in Jerusalem in violation of Palestinians' fundamental rights, including their right to freedom of movement and residence, and the right to leave their country and to return; and
- Calls for international justice and accountability, including at the International Criminal Court, for Israel's widespread and systematic human rights violations, and calls for the investigation of Salah’s case as an act of population transfer and inhumane act of apartheid.
 Article 43, Hague Regulations (1907)