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Italian activist arrested in a West Bank raid is deported by Israel

By 01/18/2023 1:55 PMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff

Israeli officials reported on Tuesday that Israel deported an activist from Italy to Italy after detaining her during a raid in the West Bank on the grounds that she was associated with a Palestinian militant group.

Israeli soldiers took Stefania Costantini into custody on Monday during an early-morning raid into the Dheisha refugee camp in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.

A soldier from Israel is shown in social media video lifting Costantini and tossing her over his shoulders while she cries.

Videos appear to show her being dragged by a group of troops out of the camp and crammed into a military vehicle.

Costantini was characterized as a supporter of Palestinian rights by the Italian media. According to Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence organization, Costantini was detained on suspicion of being a member of and transferring money to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the militant organization known as the PFLP participated in passenger plane hijackings.

In the early 2000s, the Second Intifada, or Palestinian uprising, was when the group later claimed responsibility for suicide bombings. The European Union and the United States view it as a terrorist group.

According to the Shin Bet, Costantini entered Israel on May 2 of last year on a tourist visa and was called in for questioning in September on her alleged affiliation with the PFLP.

According to the security agency, Costantini “even continued her activities” for the militant group without reporting to the authorities.

According to the Interior Ministry, she was deported by Israel on Monday afternoon.

Costantini’s left-leaning trade union, COBAS, in Pisa, Italy, voiced “consternation” over the news of her detention and deportation.

The union expressed concern about the “health and safety” of Costantini.

According to the group, Costantini is an expert who works with pupils with disabilities and has a history of fighting for “people whose rights are denied.”

The Italian consulate in Jerusalem did not immediately answer an inquiry for comments.

The foreign ministries of Italy and Israel declined to comment as well.

However, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen tweeted on Monday, the day of Costantini’s deportation, that he spoke with his Italian counterpart on the phone.

There was no mention of Costantini’s case in the readout of the call, which concentrated on the nations’ collaborative efforts to “combat terrorism” and increase their “political cooperation.”

Israel has recently intensified its campaign against Palestinian activists and rights organizations.

The offices of Palestinian human rights organizations that it labeled as terrorist organizations due to their purported ties to the PFLP were searched and shut down by the Israeli military last summer.

Nine European nations rejected Israel’s accusations.

 

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