Mustafa al-Kharouf, a 32-year-old Palestinian photojournalist, is at imminent risk of deportation from his home in occupied East Jerusalem by Israel despite living there with his wife, Tamam al-Kharouf, and 18-month-old daughter, Asia– both legal residents of Israel.
Mustafa returned to Jerusalem from Algeria with his family when he was 12 and although his family had immediately applied with the Israeli authorities for legal status to live in Jerusalem, by the time Israel approved the request, Mustafa had turned 18, making him ineligible to be included as part of the family.
Mustafa was subjected to Israel’s discriminatory “center of life” test, to which Israel has been subjecting Palestinian Jerusalemites since 1988. This test requires residents to prove their “center of life” is in Jerusalem to safeguard their residency. Mustafa’s temporary humanitarian visa was not renewed in 2015 based on information from Israel’s security officials.
Mustafa’s work as a photojournalist and photos posted to Facebook had raised concerns. Mustafa maintains he wasn’t a participant in demonstrations, but was there as part of his work as a photojournalist.
During the night July 21/22, 2019, Israeli authorities took Mustafa from Givon prison in Central Israel and attempted to forcibly deport him, a war crime, to Jordan twice and each time, Jordan refused. During this, his whereabouts were not known to his family or lawyer.
East Jerusalem is part of the OPT, so its Palestinian population is protected by the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention. Israeli authorities cannot forcibly transfer or deport Palestinian East Jerusalem residents.
July 30, 2019 AI Urgent Action Update
March 17, 2019, Ha’aretz, Amira Hass, Israel Seeks to Deport East Jerusalem Photographer to Jordan, Where He Can’t Stay
Photos by Mustafa al-Kharouf on Getty Images