Giovanni Giacalone
Eyes everywhere

The leader of the Association of Palestinians in Italy wants to wipe out Israel

Hannoun preaching from the pulpit of the Islamic Center of Genoa on October 13th
Hannoun preaching against Israel at the Islamic Center in Genoa on October 13th 2023

“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”.

And again:

“One day they will pay for their crimes! Israel criminal, United States criminal and anyone who supports Israel is a criminal…”

And once again:

“Israel destroys cemeteries in Gaza and steals corpses”.

And it’s not over:

“Hypocrisy of the corrupt. Equidistance means putting the oppressed and the oppressors on the same level. Damn you.  Long live the legitimate resistance of the Palestinian people. Free Palestine. Gaza will win”.

The resentful post is addressed against pro-Peace demonstrators showing the sign: “neither with Hamas nor with Netanyahu”.

These are only the latest statements of vicious propaganda carried out by Mohammed Hannoun, a Genoa-based Palestinian architect, president of the Association of Palestinians in Italy, the Europeans for al-Quds and chief of the Charity Association for Palestinian Support (ABSPP) in Italy.

On October 10th 2023, just three days after the horrendous massacre in southern Israel, Hannoun stated that the attack perpetrated by Hamas was “self-defense”. Such claims were made in an interview with the Italian State TV Rai3; without any hesitation or concern that such a statement would go public.

This is quite interesting, considering that Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the EU. Maybe, Hannoun does not fear legal repercussions from the Italian judicial? Why?

A few days later, on October 13th, Hannoun took advantage of his role as imam at the Islamic Center of Genoa to attack those countries supporting Israel:

“We have seen the attitude of our Italian, European, American governments and some Arab countries who have sided in favor of Israel, who begin to cry for the victims, who even told the lie to encourage, to compare Hamas as equal to ISIS ”… All this, to attack the “Palestinian resistance”.

The video was posted on both, the Facebook page of the Islamic Center of Genoa and Hannoun’s Facebook account, but it later disappeared.

During a recent pro-Palestinian event in Rome, Hannoun also defined Hamas as “Palestinian partisans” and accused some Italian politicians of being Mossad agents.

Such activity did not go unnoticed and several Italian newspapers from both, left-wing and right-wing political areas such as La Repubblica, Il Foglio, La Verità, Linkiesta and Libero published articles exposing the issue.

However, Hannoun is still active in organizing anti-Israel demonstrations in Genoa and Milan from where incitements of hatred and violence against Israel and the Jews are launched. How long before someone fueled by such hatred decides to act and attack Jewish targets?

As if it wasn’t enough, in December of 2021, after several reports to the Anti-Money Laundering Office, Unicredit Bank suspended operations on the accounts of the ABSPP, which also has offices in Milan and Rome, due to a series of aberrations. From failure to register in the Revenue Agency register to the massive movement of cash, in some cases to subjects registered in the black lists of European databases. However, according to the Italian media, the indictment that was launched by the judicial office did not lead anywhere due to the lack of verifiable elements in the Palestinian territories. The case led to a parliamentary interrogation by Andrea Del Mastro Delle Vedove of Fratelli d’Italia party.

In July of 2023, the Israeli Ministry of Defense asked the Italian police to seize Hannoun’s money. From the investigation conducted by the Shin Bet, it emerged that 500 thousand euros were available to the architect who in the past was accused by Israel, without any criminal repercussions, of hiding financial support to Palestinian families of suicide bombers.

These funds, according to the Israeli Ministry of Defense, are “the property of, or in any case a reward for, a terrorist organization.” Therefore, “they must be seized”. As explained by the Italian news site Il Sussidiario, over the years, and on several occasions, the Italian intelligence services received reports of strange money movements of Mohammad Hannoun’s associations.

It is also worth recalling that in August 2022, an investigative report published by OFCS Report, an Italian observatory with expertise in national and international security, exposed a series of political connections regarding Hannoun, on a national and international level, including photos of him next to Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Khaled Meshaal.

Despite all this, Hannoun is still fully active in organizing street demonstrations and spreading very eloquent content on his Facebook account.

Hamas is a terrorist organization that isn’t any different from ISIS or al-Qaeda. The slaughtering of harmless men, women, babies and elderly by Hamas is not “self-defense”, but a vicious crime against humanity.

Women were raped, mutilated and shot, families were burned alive and people tortured, this is what happened and this is not “self-defense” nor “resistance”.

Since measures have been taken by the Italian authorities against individuals sharing pro-Isis propaganda, it is yet unclear why nothing has so far been done to contrast Hannoun’s propaganda.

About the Author
Giovanni Giacalone is a senior analyst in Islamist extremism and terrorism at the Italian Team for Security, Terroristic Issues and Managing Emergencies-Catholic University of Milan, at the Europe desk for the UK-based think tank Islamic Theology of Counter-Terrorism, and a researcher for Centro Studi Machiavelli. Since 2021 he is the coordinator for the "Latin America group" at the International Institute for the Study of Security-ITSS. In 2023 Giacalone published the book “The Tablighi Jamaat in Europe”.
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