The mayor of the French city of Lyon, Gregory Doucet, announced on Monday that his plans to hold a conference marking the 30th anniversary of the Oslo Agreements on February 1, which French-Palestinian human rights lawyer and former prisoner Salah Hamouri was set to attend, were officially canceled according to French media.
The conference was going to be titled: "Thirty years after the signing the Oslo Accords, a look at Palestine," according to French news magazine L'Express.
Hamouri, an east Jerusalem resident born to a Palestinian father and a French mother, is a lawyer and researcher who works for Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, one of the six Palestinian NGOs declared by Israel to be terrorist organizations. He has also been accused of being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist group.
The mayor's decision comes on the heels of recent tensions and violence between Israelis and Palestinians throughout Israel.
"The resurgence of violence in the Middle East makes me fear...conflict here. My priority is to ensure the safety of the inhabitants of the city," said Doucet on Monday morning, according to French daily paper Le Monde.
Salah Hamouri's history with the law
In 2005, Hamouri was arrested after being charged with plotting to assassinate Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the Shas spiritual leader who at the time was Israel’s chief Sephardi rabbi. He was released in 2011 as part of the prisoner exchange with Hamas to free IDF soldier Gilad Schalit. Since then, he has been arrested multiple times for a variety of reasons.
On December 15, 2022, Israel deported Hamouri for committing security offenses, according to the Interior Ministry.
France’s Foreign Ministry denounced the deportation and said the French government had actively sought to defend his rights and has been in contact with Israeli authorities multiple times.
“We condemn the Israeli authorities’ decision against the law to deport Salah Hamouri to France,” it said in a statement.
Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee member Ahmed Majdalani said the deportation was illegal.
“He didn’t commit any crime to be deported from his homeland and be expelled into another country, where he had stayed for a short period, even if he holds the nationality of that country,” he told Reuters.