French activist detained in Israel starts hunger strike

A French activist who was arrested during a demonstration in the occupied West Bank against an Israeli court's decision began a hunger strike Saturday.

Nahoum Oltchik, a member of the Israeli-Palestinian NGO Combatants for Peace, told Anadolu Agency that law professor Frank Romano, who is being held at a police center, launched the hunger strike demanding that Israel's Supreme Court revoke its decision to approve the planned demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar in occupied East Jerusalem and allow local people to build houses.

Oltchik said Romano, author of the book Love and Terror in the Middle East, has dual French-American citizenship and came to Palestine to support people in Khan al-Ahmar.

Romano is determined to continue the hunger strike, Oltchik added.

On Friday, the Israeli army arrested three Palestinians along with Romano during the protest.

According to an Anadolu Agency correspondent, Israeli troops assaulted dozens of activists and local residents near Khan al-Ahmar.

Last week, Israel's Supreme Court ruled to demolish Khan al-Ahmar and evict its Bedouin inhabitants.

Israel hopes to expel 10,000 Bedouin residents of the E1 Zone, which sits on 15 square kilometers of land in East Jerusalem, to make way for a series of Jewish-only housing units linking Jerusalem to the Maale Adumim settlement.

If implemented, the plan would effectively cut the West Bank in two, preempting the possibility of a territorially contiguous Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders.

Source: Anadolu Agency