JERUSALEM — In a surprise move, Israel's government ignored pleas from the United States and ordered the expulsion of a Palestinian-born American who advocates nonviolent resistance, officials said today.
A Ministry of Interior statement confirmed the order refusing to extend the tourist visa of Mubarak Awad, 44, an activist who has encouraged Palestinians to use nonviolent means to oppose Israel's 20-year occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
"I'm not packing. I'm staying. They will have to force me out," said Awad, who divides his time between Jerusalem, where he was born, and Wapakoneta, Ohio.
He said he is aware that he risks going to jail if he remains in Israel but added, "That's part of civil disobedience."
Israeli media reports last month quoted Israeli officials as saying Awad would be allowed to stay after the U.S. intervention.