JERUSALEM (JTA) — A professor with dual American and French citizenship was arrested during a protest at a West Bank Bedouin village slated for demolition will be deported from Israel, his attorney said.
Frank Romano was arrested Friday during clashes between demonstrators and Israeli troops at Khan al-Ahmar, an illegally built village located outside of Jerusalem near Maale Adumim. He was arrested with two Palestinian activists for blocking a road and preventing Israeli security forces from doing their jobs.
Romano, 66, who was born in the United States but also holds French citizenship and teaches law at Paris Nanterre University, in a rare move was arrested under military law rather than civilian law, which meant his detention could be extended from 24 hours to 96 hours without seeing a judge. He was then transferred on Sunday to the Interior Ministry’s Population Authority, which issued a deportation order against him, his attorney Gaby Lasky told Israeli media.
“Like thieves in the night, instead of bringing Frank Romano to a hearing to free him from jail, which I requested and which was set for 4 p.m. in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, without notifying me or the court, at 2 p.m., police transferred him to immigration for deportation,” Lasky tweeted.
Israeli troops on Thursday had demolished five trailers set up as a protest extension of the village by Palestinian and international activists.
Last week, the Supreme Court rejected a petition by village residents to halt the demolition. An injunction against the demolition expired on Wednesday.
The high court had authorized the demolition in May, since the homes were built without permits. The July injunction called on the state to review a compromise offer drawn up by the locals that would legalize the village.
Critics of the demolition believe that Israel is tearing down the village in order to make a contiguous Palestinian state impossible. The international community and human rights organizations have rallied in support of the village.