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    Israel deports Italian activist arrested in West Bank raid

    AP – Israel deported an Italian activist to Italy after security forces detained her during a raid in the occupied West Bank, Israeli authorities said on Tuesday, accusing her of having links to a Palestinian militant group.

    The Israeli military arrested Stefania Costantini during a pre-dawn incursion on Monday into the the Dheisha refugee camp in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.

    Footage shared on social media shows an Israeli soldier picking up Costantini and flipping her over his shoulders as she shrieks. A group of soldiers drag her out of the camp and shove her into a military vehicle, videos show.

    Israeli forces fatally shot a 14-year-old boy in the head during the same raid as they opened fire on Palestinians throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.

    Italian media described Costantini as an advocate for Palestinian rights. Israel’s Shin Bet security service said Costantini was arrested on suspicion of belonging to, and transferring funds to the Popular Front for the Liberation (PFLP) of Palestine.

    Israel has stepped up its fight in recent years against Palestinian activists and rights groups.

    Last summer, the Israeli military raided and shuttered the offices of Palestinian human rights organisations that it designated as terrorist groups over their alleged links to the PFLP.

    Nine European countries rejected Israel’s charges against the rights groups, citing a lack of evidence.

    Mourners of 14-year-old Palestinian Omar Khumour during his funeral. PHOTO: AP
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