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Italy Bars PFLP Terrorist And BDS Advocate Leila Khaled

Benjamin Weinthal
29th November 2017 - The Jerusalem Post

Convicted Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled was barred from entering Italy on Wednesday on the grounds that she lacked a valid visa.

Olga Deutsch, Europe Desk director at the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday: "We applaud Italy's decision to deny entry to infamous terrorist Leila Khaled at Rome's Fiumicino Airport, the same place from which she once hijacked an airliner.  As a research institute, NGO Monitor documented Khaled's September 2017 speech at the European Parliament and alerted senior EU officials. We have long warned European governments that they have been funding radical, politicized NGOs, including those linked to the PFLP terror group and which were involved with Khaled's event."

She added, "We hope that Italy's move, coming on the heels of European Parliament President Tajani's decision to bar terror-linked individuals and organizations from EU premises, signals a new awareness among European leadership, and that it leads European Institutions and governments to reexamine policies that fund such NGOs."

Khaled, a member of the US- and EU-designated terrorist entity Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP),
has conducted speaking tours across Europe over the years to promote the abolition of Israel and the spread of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign.

The Italian daily La Stampa wrote on Wednesday that Khaled was denied entry because she does not have a valid Schengen visa, which would allow her travel on a short-term trip through EU countries. Khaled was denied entry at Italy's Fiumicino airport near Rome.

It is unclear why Germany, Spain, Denmark, Austria and Greece, all of which are in the Schengen zone, did not forbid Khaled from entering into their countries. 

After the Post exposed Khaled 's pro-BDS talk at Vienna's Austrian-Arab cultural center in April, 2016, the Austrian financial giant Bawag closed the center's bank account in June, 2016.

Khaled has said that Palestinians have established "that negotiations will be held only with knives and weapons."

Khaled was a key member of the terrorist cell that hijacked TWA Flight 840 in 1969. A year later, she participated in the attempted hijacking of EL AL Flight 219. The Spanish authorities allowed Khaled to receive a literary honor at a book festival in Barcelona in April. The city council of Barcelona funded a radical NGO to cover Khaled's travel and other costs. Khaled lives in Jordan.

Benjamin Weinthal is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @BenWeinthal.

Follow the Foundation for Defense of Democracies on Twitter @FDD.

Tags

bds, europe, italy