Comrade Salah Hamouri, the former Palestinian prisoner freed as part of the prisoner exchange on December 18, 2011, said upon his
release that “there is no option for the Palestinian people except resistance, because it is the only way for us to achieve our people’s rights, our freedom, and our self-determination.”
Salah Hamouri holds French citizenship, and an active campaign in France in solidarity with Hamouri and Palestinian political prisoners advocated for years for his release. He served nearly seven years in Israeli prison, charged with planning to assassinate Ovadia Yosef, the leader of the Shas party and the Chief Rabbi of Israel. “This man is and will remain a symbol of racism and fanaticism in Israel,” Hamouri said, recalling Yosef’s calls for Palestinians to be destroyed.
Hamouri reported on his release that the Israeli prison services had congregated the prisoners scheduled for release, confiscated all of their belongings, including blankets. He noted that the prisoners recognized that these actions were “intended to break the joy of the prisoners and their families,” especially as the prisoners were released in the late hours of the night.
However, Hamouri said that the occupation failed, saying that he “forgot those difficult moments immediately upon release,” seeing his relatives, friends and loved ones. He thanked the French popular movement and friends of Palestine for their ongoing struggle to free him, saying that their work contributed greatly to the joy of the prisoners and their families.