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What is going on in Kafr 'Aqab?

Updated: Apr 22, 2023

The village of 'Aqab was annexed to Jerusalem, its residents hold a permanent resident status and pay Municipal taxes.

When Israel built the separation wall the village was cut off from the city, the Municipality stopped providing its services, and the residents were left with duties but without rights. Garbage pile up in the streets and the infrastructures neglected. Every year, when the first rain falls, the village is flooded. Sometimes the water reaches the height of one meter and a half, and it is not possible to get out for work or school. The separation wall blocks the water flow, the rainwater enters the sewage system, and the houses are flooded with sewage water.

The exact number of residents in the village is unknown and ranges from sixty-one thousand to eighty-eight thousand, according to the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research. The crime rate is high, and law enforcement authorities refrain from enforcing the law.

Saleh Hamouri, a Human Rights lawyer, was born in the village of 'Aqab, and therefore, along with a French citizenship (his mother is French) held Israeli permanent resident status. Recently, Israel revoked his residency status and deported him to France. Hamouri served time in the Israeli prison in the past, on charges of attempting to harm Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, and prior to the deportation he was in prison under administrative detention. Hamouri works for Addameer organization, the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, which along with five other Palestinian Human Rights organizations, was designated a terrorist organization on October 22, 2022. Nine European countries, the UN and the CIA examined the Israeli allegations, and rejected them.

Deportation on the pretext of disloyalty to the country in which one is a resident is a violation of international law. HaMoked, the organization for the protection of the individual and Hamouri’s lawyers, see the action as a precedent for deporting Palestinians with dual citizenship from Israel and from Jerusalem in particular.

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