Center for the Defence of the Individual - Without any principled or individual judicial review: Israel deported a Palestinian from East Jerusalem for “breach of allegiance to the State”
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חזרה לעמוד הקודם

Without any principled or individual judicial review: Israel deported a Palestinian from East Jerusalem for “breach of allegiance to the State”

In March 2018, an amendment to the Entry into Israel Law (Section 11a) entered into effect, authorizing the Minister of Interior to revoke the permanent residency of Palestinians from East Jerusalem and even expel them from their occupied and annexed native city. In September 2019, HaMoked petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) on behalf of several Palestinians whose residency was thus revoked, and also demanded the repeal of the Amendment. But ultimately HaMoked had to withdraw the petition after the Court opted to first rule on the issue of revocation of citizenship on the same grounds, in the framework of an appeal concerning an individual case (AAP 8277/17). On July 21, 2022, the Court ruled that revoking citizenship is constitutional provided that some kind of permanent status be given instead to a person stripped of their citizenship. Consequently, and before petitioning the Court anew, HaMoked wrote to the Minister of Interior, the Knesset and the Attorney General to demand the revocation of Section 11a of the Entry into Israel Law, but no response has arrived yet.

Until now, Israel has deported one Palestinian man from East Jerusalem pursuant to Section 11a, despite HaMoked’s intensive efforts to prevent his expulsion. In addition, Israel revoked the permanent residency of five other Jerusalemites pursuant to this law (thus according to Ministry of Interior data supplied to HaMoked), and gave them temporary residency status, as stipulated in this Law, which requires that a “license to reside in Israel” be given to a person who is left without permanent status elsewhere following the revocation. 

The Jerusalemite expelled pursuant to this law is Salah Hammouri, a Palestinian man in his 30s, who has lived in Jerusalem his entire life. Mr. Hammouri also has French citizenship through his French mother, who married his East Jerusalem Palestinian father and has been living in the city ever since. Due to his French nationality, he was not given temporary status in Israel in lieu of the revoked permanent status. Whereas the other five whose status was revoked are serving prison sentences for the commission of attacks against Israelis, Hammouri was released from prison over a decade ago after completing his sentence, and has not been indicted since. Hammouri is married to a French national who lives in France with their two children.

On September 9, 2020, Hammouri received the first notice regarding Minister of Interior Deri’s intention to revoke his status on the grounds of “breach of allegiance to the State of Israel”.  His residency was revoked on October 17, 2021, by Deri’s then successor, Interior Minister Shaked. On November 17, 2021, HaMoked petitioned against the decision and reiterated its position that this decision was made pursuant to an unconstitutional law which does not meet the conditions set in the limitations clause of Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, violated international humanitarian law and blatantly contradicted the rule of law principle and the governmental duty of fairness. HaMoked also argued that this decision constituted a retroactive application of the law – as the Amendment was enacted after the offences cited in the revocation decision in question. HaMoked also requested an interim order preventing Mr. Hammouri’s deportation so long as court proceedings continue in his case. This request was denied on December 2, 2021. HaMoked requested leave to appeal to the Supreme Court on this matter, but was denied. 

Shortly after, at the State’s request and despite HaMoked’s objection, the Court for Administrative Affairs deleted the petition itself, without a hearing. Preposterously, in the judgment of January 3, 2022, the Court ruled that “…far beyond any legal obligation, insofar as the Supreme Court’s judgment [regarding cancelation of citizenship] is issued by December 31, 2022… I would be willing to consider a request [to reverse the deletion] …” (emphasis in the original). HaMoked appealed to the Supreme Court against this decision on February 14, 2022, claiming that the petition’s deletion was a biased decision which flippantly legitimized the Minister of Interior’s harsh and fateful decision, leaving the petitioner exposed to immediate deportation from his homeland without a proper opportunity to plead his case and seek the restoration of his status. HaMoked also sought the issuance of an injunction and an interim order prohibiting the State from pursuing his deportation before full exhaustion of the legal proceedings in his case, but was again denied. At about the same time, Hammouri was arrested for a short interrogation and was then placed under administrative detention on March 10, 2022, and thus he remained incarcerated for months, without trial and on the basis of classified evidence – and reportedly under extremely harsh condition, after he went on a hunger strike together with other administrative detainees.

On September 5, 2022, the State notified the Court that HaMoked’s appeal on behalf of Hammouri should be deleted given the issuance of the abovementioned July 2022 judgment concerning revocation of citizenship, and the Ministry of Interior’s notice to Hammouri, also dated September 5, whereby Hammouri was given the “opportunity to raise your arguments in writing regarding the revocation of your permanent residency license to allow the Minister of Interior to once again review your case in light of the rulings of the Court in the said judgment”. HaMoked therefore sent additional written arguments on Hammouri’s behalf on September 14, 2022, noting, among other things, that permanent residency could not be revoked as it is incompatible with the conditions set in the citizenship-revocation judgment. On October 27, 2022, HaMoked notified the Supreme Court that deletion of the petition was acceptable provided the State guaranteed not to try and expel Hammouri until his appeal was resolved. However, on November 29, 2022, the Court deleted the appeal without accepting HaMoked’s request to halt deportation measures against Hammouri.

On November 30, 2022, upon the expiry of the administrative detention order against Hammouri, the Minister of Interior repeated her decision to revoke his permanent residency, without granting him an alternative status due to his French citizenship. Hammouri was moved to an incarceration facility for people pending deportation. On December 5, 2022, HaMoked wrote to the Minister of Interior that the unique legal situation of this case must be taken into account, in view of the fact that the HCJ had not yet reviewed the principled matter of the constitutionality of the Amendment pursuant to which Hammouri’s status was revoked, having ruled that a petition in the matter must follow a judgment on the revocation of citizenship. Therefore, HaMoked demanded that the decision to revoke Hammouri’s residency status be either cancelled or at least suspended until the legal situation was settled, first regarding the principle issue and then regarding Hammouri’s particular case.  But the Minister left her decision unchanged.

On December 18, 2022, Hammouri was deported to France.