The deportation threatens to spark a diplomatic fight with Paris, as it comes amid calls for French President Emmanuel Macron to oppose the deportation to France, whose foreign ministry spokeswoman had previously said Hammouri “must be able to exercise all his rights and lead a normal life in Jerusalem, his city of birth and residence”.
France’s Foreign Ministry condemned Israel’s deportation of Hammouri after he landed in Paris, saying it has “taken full action, including at the highest level of the state, to ensure that Mr. Salah Hamouri’s rights are respected, that he benefits from all legal remedies and that he can lead a normal life in Jerusalem, where he was born, resides and wishes to live.”
It was not clear what, if any, steps the French government might take.
Hammouri landed in Paris just before 10am local time. Wearing a black track suit and black and white keffiyeh, or Palestinian headscarf, around his neck, he was greeted by his wife and a group of supporters.
Some hugged him, and others clapped in support.
Speaking to reporters, Hammouri accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and said his deportation was meant “to show the generations that nobody can resist Israel.” He vowed to fight the order.
“I will continue my right to resist against this occupation until I have the right to go back to my country,” he said.
Earlier, the Justice for Salah campaign released an audio message from Hammouri, which he said was recorded as he was being “forcibly deported and uprooted from my homeland”.
“Be assured my beloved homeland that I coercively and forcibly leave you today. I leave you today from prison to exile,” he said. “But rest assured I will always remain the person you know. Always loyal to you and to your freedom.”