Outrage Grows as Italian Citizen Khaled El Qaisi Remains Detained in Israeli Prison

Outrage Grows as Italian Citizen Khaled El Qaisi Remains Detained in Israeli Prison

Rome, September 14, 2023

Italian citizen Khaled El Qaisi has now spent two weeks in an Israeli prison without any clear charges, prompting widespread concern and condemnation. The Israeli authorities' actions, which violate international law, have prevented Khaled from meeting with his lawyer, denying him his right to a proper defense.

Hon. Michele Piras, European President of the League and promoter of the European Parliamentarian Network for Palestine, emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating, "This is an unacceptable situation, one that thousands of Palestinians also face. It requires a strong mobilization from both civil society and institutions."

Calls for Khaled's release are multiplying from various political parties and associations, reflecting the growing demand for justice and respect for human rights.

Hon. Michele Piras further acknowledged the Italian government's commitment to resolving the situation but stressed that the underlying issue extends beyond Khaled's case. He highlighted the need for Israel to uphold human rights and international law, emphasizing the broader implications of this ongoing problem.

Simultaneously, the Parliamentarian group of friendship with Palestine is engaging in significant institutional efforts, including issuing statements, delivering speeches, and conducting parliamentary interrogations to address Khaled's plight.

In a response to a parliamentary question from Hon. Stefania Ascari, Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Antonio Tajani provided an update on the situation. According to Minister Tajani, Khaled El Qaisi, an Italian and Palestinian citizen, was detained on August 31 at the Allenby border crossing while crossing the border to Jordan with his wife and son. The Israeli authorities cited security reasons for his apprehension.

Khaled was initially transferred to the Petah Tikvah penitentiary institute and later to the prison in Ashkelon. The judge validated his detention until September 14. Under Israeli law pertaining to crimes related to national security, Khaled's lawyer was prohibited from meeting him until September 14, as ordered by the judge for preliminary investigations.

Despite an appeal by Khaled's lawyer to lift the ban on communication, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected the request. The Italian Embassy in Tel Aviv has been actively involved in the matter, maintaining regular contact with Khaled's family and legal representatives. The Italian government has urged the Israeli authorities at various levels to ensure Khaled's right to a fair defense and to clarify the charges against him. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has assured the Italian Embassy of its utmost attention to the case.

A consular visit was authorized on September 7 following interventions by the Italian diplomatic representation. Khaled appeared to be in good health and calm, and the Italian Embassy confirmed that he had not suffered mistreatment and was being held in dignified conditions.

The Italian government remains committed to closely monitoring Khaled El Qaisi's case, working in collaboration with his family and lawyer, and advocating for his rights with the Israeli authorities.

As the days pass, the international community continues to express its concern and demand justice for Khaled El Qaisi. The persistent calls for his release underscore the importance of upholding human rights and international law, and the need for swift action to rectify this distressing situation.

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