French-Palestinian prisoner released in Gilad Schalit exchange re-arrested

Salah Hamouri was one of the 1027 prisoners who was freed in 2011 in the exchange for Gilad Schalit.

August 26, 2017 18:02
1 minute read.
Ofer Prison

Ofer Prison. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)


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Salah Hamouri, who was serving time for attempting to assassinate Ovadia Yosef and membership in a terrorist organization when he was released in the 2001 Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange, has been re-arrested.

According to French media reports, Hamouri, who is half- French, was arrested Wednesday in a pre-dawn raid on his home in east Jerusalem on charges of engagement with illegal political organizations.

He remains in police custody.

Hamouri was arrested in 2005 for planning to assassinate Yosef, the founder of the ultra-orthodox party Shas, and for his involvement with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He was imprisoned for three years before his trial, after which he spent an additional five years in prison before he was released in 2011 as one of the 1,027 prisoners exchanged for Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, who returned home after five years in captivity in Gaza.

The French consulate in Jerusalem reportedly said it was reviewing the case closely with associates in Paris. A diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity, also told a reporter at Le Monde that the consulate’s staff was working to provide Hamouri with consular assistance and legal representation.

Hamouri’s wife – who has been banned from entering Israel – posted a plea on her Facebook page asking France to “act with conviction in protecting and ensuring the release of [its] fellow citizen who once again is suffering from Israeli arbitrariness.”

Addameer, an organization that works toward the advancement of Palestinian human rights, and for which Hamouri works as a lawyer and advocate, also protested the arrest. A tweet posted to their account links to a petition started by the organization urging French President Emmanuel Macron to ensure Hamouri’s release.

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