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Israeli deportation of Palestinian-French activist on hold

Salah Hamouri is greeted after arriving at his home in Jerusalem following his released from Israeli prison in a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas, Dec. 18 2011. (Sliman Khader/FLASH90)
Salah Hamouri is greeted after arriving at his home in Jerusalem following his released from Israeli prison in a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas, Dec. 18 2011. (Sliman Khader/FLASH90)

Israel will have to wait to deport Palestinian lawyer and activist Salah Hamouri to France for at least several weeks after a  Tel Aviv court fails to make a decision.

No decisions were made, and another hearing was set for Jan. 1, says Dani Shenhar, one of his lawyers. He remains in Israeli custody.

Hammouri has been held since last March under administrative detention — an Israeli tool that allows it to hold suspected terrorists without charge for months at a time.

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked announced last week that she would deport Hammouri as soon as possible after his detention ended on Sunday.

The case has underscored the fragile status of Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents and sparked a diplomatic row with France. Hammouri, who was born in Jerusalem, has French citizenship.

Israel accuses Hammouri of membership in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which has been labeled a terrorist group by Israel and the US.

France has told Israel that it opposes the planned expulsion, French Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre said Monday in an online briefing.

“He must be able to exercise all his rights and lead a normal life in Jerusalem, his city of birth and residence,” she said, adding that French officials have met with Israeli counterparts to express their opposition.

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