Samidoun: Leila Khaled denied entry to Italy in political attack on Palestinian rights

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network denounces in the strongest terms the denial of entry and deportation of Palestinian leftist figure, national leader and resistance icon Leila Khaled at Italy’s Leonardo da Vinci – Rome Fiumicino Airport today, Tuesday, 28 November.

This action evidences the complicity of the European Union and European states with the Israeli occupation as well as its capitulation to the racist demands of the Zionist movement and the fascist right-wing forces. This is a political action that constitutes a flagrant attack on the rights of the Palestinian people, including the right of their national leaders to travel and to be heard, and also an attack on the Palestinian community in Italy and throughout Europe in an attempt to besiege and isolate Palestinians in exile from one another.

We stand in solidarity with Leila Khaled, with the Arab-Palestinian Democratic Union (UDAP) of Italy and with the Palestinian people who continue to resist all forms of injustice, siege and oppression and struggle for return and liberation.

We reprint the statement below from UDAP, the organizers of Leila Khaled’s tour of Italy:

Leila Khaled denied entry to Italy

A statement by the Arab Palestinian Democratic Union (UDAP)

Today, Tuesday, 28 November 2017, Leila Khaled was stopped at Leonardo da Vinci – Rome Fiumicino Airport. The Palestinian leader was denied entry to Italy and forced to depart on the next flight to Amman.

This incident took place following repeated and extensive media attacks and intense pressure by the Zionist lobby in Italy. In the days before her arrival, many newspapers published sensationalist and defamatory articles about the tour of Leila Khaled in Italy.

The forced repatriation of comrade Leila Khaled is only a demonstration of the failure of Italian institutions and their inability to escape Zionist blackmail. It is clear how much they fear this clear, free and consistent voice. Leila Khaled had a visa to Europe that was revoked here, in Rome, at landing. Less than a month ago, she was in Spain and Belgium and held a conference in the European Parliament.

Despite the pressures, defamations and provocations, despite the deportation imposed on our comrade by the Italian authorities, the Arab-Palestinian Democratic Union (UDAP) will continue to hold its events, during which Leila Khaled will speak with us over a live video link.

The “Fifty Years of Resistance” events are still confirmed.

Arab Palestinian Democratic Union (UDAP) – Rome