JERUSALEM — A Palestinian-American facing deportation from Israel took his case to a Jerusalem synagogue Saturday, asking worshipers to support his fight to remain in the country.
Mubarak Awad, a Christian Arab with U.S. citizenship, told the Sabbath congregation that "This has become a confrontation between me and the Israeli government. And that government represents you. So I ask for your support."
The Jerusalem-born Awad, 44, is known for his advocacy of nonviolent resistance to Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, both areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East War.
The Israeli government had ordered Awad to leave the country by Friday, when his three-month tourist visa expired, but he defied the order and sought symbolic refuge in the Old City's Al Aksa Mosque.
An Interior Ministry spokeswoman confirmed that Awad had been denied a visa extension but said that there are no immediate plans to expel him.