Three French Jews were detained over the weekend for hanging a banner reading "Justice for Lee Zeitouni" on the Eiffel Tower, Ynet reported Sunday.
The Frenchmen were protesting the fact that the two French nationals who were accused of killing
the 25-year-old Israeli woman in a hit and run accident in Tel Aviv
last September have not been extradited to Israel.
Banner on Eiffel Tower
Claude Isaacs and Eric Roubbi were released following a short interrogation.
'Pressure working.' Roi Peled with photo of Lee (Photo: Avisag She'ar Yeshuv)
One of the young Jews behind the act of protest said on condition of anonymity, "We climbed the Eiffel Tower and quickly hung the banner. We were arrested immediately. Many people in France are discussing the importance of extraditing the (men who ran Zeitouni over) – both within the Jewish community and outside it. We hope our act will help."
Roi Peled, Zeitouni's partner, said in response to the act of protest, "The (hit and run) is a major topic of conversation in France, and the pressure (on French authorities) is bearing fruit."
A few weeks ago, Peled and Lee's father, Itzik, managed to relay a message to Nicolas Sarkozy, asking that the French president intervene in the affair, just as he had during the campaign to release IDF soldier Gilad Shalit
from captivity in Gaza.
"At the time many people said the campaign to free Shalit would not work, but the activists continued to fight with Sarkozy's help – and succeeded," Peled said after sending the message. "I believe (Sarkozy) can pull it off once again."
However, during a speech addressed to France's Jewish leaders, Sarkozy stressed he was still opposed to extraditing the French nationals, who fled Israel a few hours after the accident. "France does not extradite its citizens. This is a principle I will not withdraw from," he said.
The French president suggested that the Israeli government or Zeitouni's family file a complaint in France - "then the suspects will be brought to trial immediately."
"I want justice for the family of this young woman," Sarkozy said in his speech.
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