UN says Israel’s expulsion of French-Palestinian lawyer is a ‘war crime’

Israel’s expulsion of French-Palestinian human rights lawyer Salah Hamouri amounts to a “war crime,” the UN human rights office said Monday.

Hamouri, 37, arrived in France on Sunday after having been held without charge in Israel under a controversial practice that allows suspects to be detained for renewable periods of up to six months.

“Deporting a protected person from occupied territory is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, constituting a war crime,” UN human rights spokesman Jeremy Laurence said in a statement.

Israel has accused Hamouri of being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and of being a security threat. Hamouri denies links to the PFLP.

In condemning his expulsion, Laurence said: “We are deeply concerned by the chilling message this sends to those working on human rights” in occupied east Jerusalem.

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