Friday, 12 February
Protest on Friday, 12 February in Paris in solidarity with Elsa Lefort and Salah Hamouri, kept apart by Israeli apartheid and impunity!
French-Palestinian former prisoner in Israeli jails, Salah Hamouri, was finally freed in 2011 after lengthy campaigns in France and Palestine calling for his freedom. Since his release from prison, Hamouri has been repeatedly targeted by the Israeli occupation, including being banned from the West Bank as he completed law studies in Ramallah. Now, his pregnant wife – and their soon-to-be-born child – are facing expulsion from Palestine and denial of Jerusalem residency.
Since 2014, Salah Hamouri has been married to Elsa Lefort, a French woman who works at the French consulate in Jerusalem, where they have made their home. Lefort has a valid visa for entry to Palestine until October 2016, as an employee of the French consulate. Nevertheless, after visiting Lefort’s family in France for Christmas and New Year’s Day, when returning with Hamouri, Lefort was denied entry by Israeli border guards at Ben Gurion Airport. Lefort, six and a half months pregnant with her and Hamouri’s first child, was held in detention for two days and two nights before being deported to France. No explanation other than vague “security reasons” were presented for Lefort’s deportation.
Salah Hamouri is a Jerusalemite Palestinian, carrying a Jerusalem ID. Jerusalemite Palestinians have been subject to ongoing attempts to strip them collectively and individually of their Jerusalem residency and ID cards; thousands of Palestinians have been stripped of their Jerusalem IDs since the year 2000. If Salah and Elsa’s child is born in Paris rather than in Jerusalem, the child is at severe risk of being denied a Jerusalem ID and the entire family is at risk of separation.