Bepi Pezzulli
International counsel & foreign policy adviser

Italy Refuses Exradition of Palestinian Terrorist

The Court of Appeals in L’Aquila, Italy has ruled against the extradition to Israel of Anan Kamal Afif Yaeesh, a 37-year-old Palestinian currently held in custody in Terni on terrorism charges. The Islamic detainee will not be surrendered to Jerusalem’s authorities following a motion filed by his defense counsel, Avv. Flavio Rossi Albertini and Avv. Stefania Calvanese.

The decision not to extradite Yaeesh, embraced as a “freedom fighter” by elements of the Italian political left, marks a despicable legal turn.

The judgment, which cites concerns regarding potential mistreatment drawing from ostensibly anti-Semitic research, underscores the abhorrence of the Court’s deliberation Disgracefully, the Court referenced conditions within Israeli prisons, described as “appalling for Palestinian citizens,” characterized by “overcrowding, physical violence, inadequate hygiene, and limited medical access”—a narrative evidently biased. Moreover, according to the judges, extradition to Israel cannot be granted as there is a risk that he “would be subjected to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, or acts constituting a violation of human rights.”

The Court’s decision follows the arrest by the State Police on March 11 of three Palestinians on charges related to “association with the purpose of terrorism, including international acts or subversion of democratic order.” According to police assertions, the trio engaged in proselytizing and propaganda for their cause, allegedly plotting various attacks, including suicidal ones, against civilian and military targets abroad.

Among the suspects, Yaeesh, Ali Saji Ribhi Irar, and Mansour Doghmosh—members of the Quick Response Group of the Tulkarem Brigades—reportedly devised a terrorist scheme involving a car bomb within the Israeli settlement of Avnei Hefetz in the West Bank, as revealed through police surveillance and phone wiretaps.

During the years of the second Intifada, between 2000 and 2005, Yaeesh had already served four years in prison in Israel as a combatant enemy. Later, he emigrated to Norway where he underwent surgeries for some old injuries. Then, Yaeesh moved to Italy and settled in L’Aquila, where he has been residing since 2017 and owns a restaurant. Digos, the anti-terrorism branch of the State Police, had kept him under close surveillance as a pawn in the international network financing Islamic terrorism.

The Italian judiciary has faced longstanding accusations of pursuing a political agenda and aligning with the political left. While judicial rulings ostensibly prioritize principles of law over ideological biases, controversies often arise, casting doubt on the credibility of the judicial branch. The perceived anti-Semitic undertones in certain rulings, along with an ideological alignment with extreme left third-worldism and apparent leniency towards Hamas Islamism, pose significant challenges to the legitimacy of the judicial process in Italy.

About the Author
Giuseppe Levi Pezzulli ("Bepi") is a Solicitor specialised in International financial law and a foreign policy scholar. His research interest is economic statecraft. In 2018, he published "An alternative view of Brexit" (Milano Finanza Books), which investigates the economic and geopolitical implications of Brexit. In 2023, "Brave bucks" (Armando Publishing House), which highlights the role of private capital in the industrial policy mix. Formerly an Editor-in-Chief of La Voce Repubblicana; is a columnist for the Italian daily financial newspaper Milano Finanza; a pundit for the int'l financial TV channel CNBC; and a Middle East analyst for Longitude magazine. He received degrees at Luiss Guido Carli in Rome (LLB), New York University (LLM), and Columbia University (JD). He stood for a seat in the UK Parliament at the general election 2024.
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