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Arabic press review: Israel to deport Palestinian lawyer to France

Meanwhile, Egypt's Gaza gas talks, Tunisian journalist sentenced to prison and violations rife in Egyptian prisons
Salah Hamouri is set to be deported by Israel to France (Supplied)

Israel to deport Palestinian lawyer to France

Israel's interior minister, Ayelet Shaked, has approved a final decision to remove the residence permit of French-Palestinian human rights lawyer Salah Hamouri and withdraw his Jerusalem identity card, in preparation to forcibly deport him to France, according to Arabi21. 

Last Wednesday, Hamouri, who has been administratively detained for nine months, received notice of his deportation from the Hadarim prison administration.

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If Hamouri decides to appeal against the decision to abolish his Jerusalem residence permit, he will remain detained in an Israeli prison.

Hebrew media reported that the chances of accepting Hamouri's appeal are slim because he holds French nationality and withdrawing his residence permit "will not leave him stateless".

Israeli authorities sent a notice to the French consulate in Jerusalem to this end. 

Hamouri's wife, Elsa Lefort, said his lawyers "were verbally told that he would be deported on Sunday... It is heartbreaking and shocking."

She continued: "Under international law, the forcible deportation is considered a war crime, and this could bear consequences at the international justice level, even if it is rare to hold Israel accountable."

Israeli authorities accuse Hamouri of belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and he was imprisoned between 2005 and 2011 on charges of participating in an attempt to assassinate a former Israeli rabbi.

Egypt's Gaza gas talks

Egypt has held talks with Palestinian and Israeli officials with the aim of settling differences over the Gaza Marine gas field located off the coast of the Gaza Strip, according to al-Araby al-Jadeed.

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An official Palestinian delegation visited Cairo in the middle of this week to discuss executive steps to activate the partnership agreement signed with Egypt over the gas field. Egypt has also coordinated with the Israeli side.

According to the report, the Palestinian Authority (PA) delegation and Cairo officials discussed "agreeing on the technical aspects related to the distribution of quotas to partners, how to market the gas extracted from the field, and how to end the obstacles set by the Israeli government which hinder the official start of the agreement."

In February 2021, the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) signed a cooperation agreement with two Egyptian companies to develop the Gaza gas field and the necessary infrastructure.

Egypt has also been coordinating with Hamas, which governs Gaza.

Estimates issued by bodies working in the field of gas exploration indicate that the field, which is located 22 nautical miles off the Gaza coast, contains an estimated reserve of nearly one trillion cubic feet of gas, for a production period of 10-12 years.

Tunisian journalist sentenced to prison

Tunisian journalist Khalifa al-Qasimi has been sentenced to a year in prison because he refused to reveal his journalistic sources, with a terrorism court convicted him of "disclosing security secrets," according to Mosaique FM radio, which employs al-Qasimi.

The radio station confirmed that a court specialising in terrorism cases in Tunisia had sentenced the journalist, who works as a reporter, to one year in prison. However, he is currently still released pending an appeal hearing.

Qasimi's prosecution began in March, when charges were brought against him by the authorities under the anti-terrorism law and the penal code. He was detained for seven days then released after a campaign of national and international support.

Egyptian prison violations

Egyptian detention centres witnessed 1453 violations in less than three months, according to the Committee for Justice (CFJ), a Geneva-based human rights organisation.

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In its quarterly report, the CFJ said Cairo is still sending contradictory messages about its true intentions regarding human rights, according to a report in Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper.

"While dozens are being released at spaced intervals, the security crackdowns of citizens, the arbitrary arrest and renewed detention are still a common practice and a consistent pattern," CFJ said.

The organisation said that from July to September 2022, Egypt witnessed signs of an economic crisis that the government did not deal with transparently, and its solutions were limited to security responses.

This was apparent in the response to the Beshay Steel strike and the crisis of al-Warraq island, where residents were forcibly displaced after a deal was struck to sell it to an Emirati company.

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