The occupation deports an Italian woman after her arrest from Bethlehem

The occupation deports an Italian woman after her arrest from Bethlehem

The Israeli authorities announced, on Tuesday, that they had deported an Italian woman whose visa had expired, after interrogating her on suspicion of belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine after she was arrested during an Israeli army operation in the Bethlehem area of the occupied West Bank.

Stefania Constantini was arrested on Monday during an operation by Israeli forces in the Dheisheh refugee camp in the southern West Bank, according to the Israeli Internal Security Service (Shin Bet).

The Shin Bet statement said: "Stefania Constantini, an Italian citizen, entered Israel on May 2, 2022 on a tourist visa and spent most of her time in the territories of the Palestinian Authority. She exceeded the permitted entry visa period and was deported from the country.”

The Israeli Interior Ministry confirmed its deportation on Monday.

The Shin Bet statement confirmed, "Konstantini was summoned in September 2022 for interrogation by General Security, on the background of suspicions about her membership in the (terrorist) Popular Front organization and her activity in this organization, including money transfers, but she did not attend, but continued her activities for the organization."

He added, "As a result of these matters, she was arrested on January 16, 2023, for interrogation. At the end of the investigation, she was transferred to the Ministry of Interior, which decided to deport her from Israel."

The Italian Consulate in Jerusalem did not immediately comment on the case when contacted by AFP.

The Italian news agency ANSA said Constantini was about 50 years old.

Her expulsion came on the same day that Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani spoke by phone with his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen, neither of whom mentioned the Constantini case.

During the Israeli operation Monday, a 14-year-old Palestinian boy was killed by Israeli bullets, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

The Israeli army said: "It was subjected to throwing stones, explosive devices and Molotov cocktails at the soldiers, who responded with riot dispersal means and with live ammunition."

Since the beginning of this year, 14 Palestinian civilians and members of armed groups have been killed by Israeli bullets, according to an AFP tally.