Rome urged to intervene on behalf of Palestinian-Italian student held by Israel

The lawyer for an Italian-Palestinian student detained by Israel since August is calling on Italy to intervene, saying he is being held in violation of his legal rights.

Khaled El Qaisi, 27, has been detained by Israel without charges since August 31, when he was arrested while crossing from the West Bank to Jordan after a family vacation in his home city of Bethlehem.

A student of languages at Rome’s Sapienza University, born in the West Bank and also an Italian citizen, El Qaisi has since been subject to daily interrogations in a prison near Tel Aviv, his Italian lawyer Flavio Rossi Albertini said.

“A whole series of guarantees in the Italian system that we all know and which we appeal to when we are involved with the justice system, all of this is denied in Israel,” Albertini tells a press conference in Italy’s lower house of parliament, attended by two opposition party deputies.

“How can the Italian government not take a position?” he says.

A hearing in Israel is scheduled for October 1, at which point he could be charged or freed within a few days, Albertini adds, though he also fears El Qaisi may be put in administrative detention.

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