The Israeli occupation court in Jerusalem on Monday withdrew its decision to deport French activist Frank Romano for participation in the protest against the occupation in Khan Al-Ahmar Bedouin village, east of occupied Jerusalem.
Romano, a law professor at the French Sorbonne University, who holds both French and American citizenship, was arrested for “suspicion of obstructing the work of a policeman,” according to Israeli sources.
He was arrested on Friday from Khan Al-Ahmar as he was demanding the cancellation of the evacuation and demolition of the village of Khan Alahmar, home for 180 Palestinian Bedouins.
“They said I was organizing a riot and that I was violent– all lies. They tried to convince me that the Palestinians and the Bedouins had no right to fight Israeli policy in section C [of the West Bank], that this is Israel and Israel can do whatever they want,” Romano told press in Khan Al-Ahmar after he returned.
“They [Israelis] started saying ‘Bedouins are just Nomads they can go here, they don’t mind leaving,’ I said no, they are not nomads.. They go to 3 places every year to get away from the wind and winter. That’s not nomadism, they are people who settled here and want to have a normal life like anyone else.”
Romano told that upon arrest, soldiers assaulted him and moved to another cell, where he held a hunger strike in protest.
“I did the hunger strike because when you’re in jail you don’t have power.. The only power you have, to tell the world, is a hunger strike.. I did this for three days and I’m still doing this because I want the world to know that this is worth the sacrifice,” Romano said.
After that, he was taken to immigration office and refused to sign a paper that would ban him from entering Palestine (and Israel). In the end, he was sent to court. Romano says he released without any documents (passport) or money, as police told him he had to go back to the detention center and get it.
“If they send me back to France, I wouldn’t be able to come back for ten years,” Romano told journalists in Khan Al-Ahmar.
“We want the Bedouins and all Palestinians to be free from this terrible occupation.. We have to do what we can to stop these bulldozers.. I want to continue this struggle,” he concluded, as he continued to protest in the village alongside dozens of activists who are staying over at the village to prevent Israeli forces from demolishing it.