Israel to deport French-US professor arrested at demo

Palestinian protesters wave national flags in front of Israeli troops during a protest on September 14th, 2018. Protesters protested against Israel's plans to demolish the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, in the occupied West Bank

Jérusalem (AFP) - An American-French law professor arrested by Israel while protesting against the demolition of a Palestinian village in the West Bank is to be deported, his lawyer said Sunday.

US-born Frank Romano, who teaches law at the Paris Nanterre University, was detained on Friday while taking part in a demonstration at the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, east of Jerusalem.

"There is an administrative decision to deport him," lawyer Gaby Lansky told reporters.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli interior ministry could not immediately confirm such a decision.

The village of roughly 200 people in the Israeli-occupied West Bank is at risk of being demolished at any time, despite fierce criticism from key European nations.

On September 5, Israel's supreme court upheld an order to raze it on grounds it was built without the proper permits.

It is extremely rare for Palestinians to be given Israeli permits to build in Area C of the West Bank, where Khan al-Ahmar is situated.

The village is located in a strategic spot near Israeli settlements and along a road leading to the Dead Sea.

There have been warnings that continued settlement construction in the area could eventually divide the West Bank in two and cut it off from Jerusalem, dealing a death blow to any remaining hopes of a two-state solution.

Anti-demolition activists said Romano was arrested along with two Palestinian protesters when they tried to block bulldozers sent in by Israeli authorities to seal off an access road to the village.

Pictures on social media show him being led from the scene by Israeli riot police.

©Agence France-Presse