by Giovanni Giacalone
Palestinian leader in Italy glorifies Ayyash the bombmaker and shares hateful rhetoric against journalists
Palestinian leader in Italy, Mohammed Hannoun, praises Yahya Ayyash, “the engineer”, on his Facebook account:
“On this day, the cowardly assassination took place;
Mercy to the martyrs;
The legendary engineer martyr, who was a turning point in the history of the Palestinian resistance; Yahya Ayyash Abu Al-Baraa.
Palestine today is in dire need of your patriotic spirit and vengeance for the spirit of the martyr Sheikh Saleh Abu Muhammad.
Martyrs do not die.
Now, for those who may not know, Ayyash was a chief Hamas bombmaker and the leader of the West Bank battalion of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. He earned the nickname “the Engineer” due to his skills in building explosive devices. Ayyash is credited with advancing the technique of suicide bombing against Israeli targets. He was eliminated by the Shin Bet on January 5th 1996.
During those years, many Israeli parents sent their kids to school on different buses, so that in case of explosion, not all would be murdered.
As if it was not enough, not long after, Hannoun posted the photo of Israeli journalist Litai Shemesh sitting behind her anchor desk with a gun tucked into the waistband of her trousers and the comment in Italian language: “corrupt criminals and terrorist journalists”.
Underneath the post, a series of extremely ugly sexist comments by other users following Hannoun’s account, users with both Italian and Arab names. This is indeed no surprise, considering what Hamas did to women on October 7th.
For instance, user Saleh Mansour writes: “Isn’t she afraid that the gun will slip and enter “that place”?
Lamberto Testa comments: “Maybe Pozzuolo’s penis wasn’t enough for her”.
This is all on public view and impossible for anyone monitoring social media for hateful content not to see it.
On the evening of January 2nd 2024, after Saleh al-Arouri’s killing in Beirut, Mohammad Hannoun posted the following on his FB account:
“God is our goal
The Messenger is our role model
The Qur’an is our constitution
Jihad is our path
Death for the sake of God is our highest aspiration
It is not a slogan to raise or words to consume, but rather convictions
For its sake we live and for its sake we meet God
Among the believers are men who have been true to what they covenanted with God. And among them are those whose death is fulfilled, and among them are those who are waiting. And they have not changed in the slightest. (23) That God may reward the truant. He is certain of their truthfulness and punishes the hypocrites if He wills or turns to them in repentance. Indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful (24)
Mercy to the martyrs”
The first five lines are indeed the motto of the Muslim Brotherhood, followed by personal comments and verses 23 and 24 of the Quranic sura 33 (the Coalition).
In mid-December 2023, Hannoun, once again on his Facebook account, called for the annihilation of Israel through the sadly notorious slogan “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”.
In addition, he wrote: “One day they will pay for their crimes! Israel criminal, United States criminal and anyone who supports Israel is a criminal…”
In October 2023, the Washington Outsider had already discussed the militant activity of Mohammed Hannoun, the 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 who defined the October 7th massacre against Israeli civilians as “self-defense”. Such claims were made in an interview with the Italian State TV Rai3, during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in central Milan.
On October 13th, Hannoun took advantage of his role as imam at the Islamic Center of Genoa to attack those countries supporting Israel, including Italy and the United States. The video was removed soon after from his Facebook account and the one belonging to the Islamic Center of Genoa.
Hannoun’s online activity had previously been noticed by several Italian newspapers from all political areas such as La Repubblica, Il Foglio, La Verità, Linkiesta and Libero; they published articles exposing the Palestinian individual. However, Hannoun’s hate speech and terror celebration on Facebook is still ongoing.
It is worth recalling that in December 2021, after several reports to the Anti-Money Laundering Office, ABSPP’s bank accounts were suspended due to a series of anomalies, 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.
This issue reached the Italian Parliament with an interrogation by Andrea Del Mastro Delle Vedove of the Brothers of Italy party (Fratelli d’Italia), but Hannoun continued with his activities.
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, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, it emerged that 500 thousand euros were available to Hannoun who in the past was accused by Israel, without any criminal repercussions, of hiding financial support to Palestinian suicide bombers.
Now, it is clear that such hateful propaganda like the one shared by Hannoun, using typical Hamas rhetoric that glorifies jihad, martyrdom and deceased terrorists, is a serious risk not only for Jews and Israelis abroad, but also for all those accused of supporting Israel.
The street demonstrations in the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Italy have shown the strong hatred shared by many pro-Palestinian and Islamist demonstrators.
Ignoring hate speech and pro-Hamas propaganda, especially by someone with a high number of followers and with a leading role among Islamists, can potentially lead to potential attacks in Italy. It is worth recalling that Hamas terror plots were recently foiled in Germany and Denmark.
Why haven’t the Italian authorities intervened yet?
It appears rather strange, considering that measures against individuals spreading pro-Isis propaganda on Italian soil were promptly taken, and often for “milder” content.
Maybe the Italian authorities fear a growth of anti-Italian sentiment that could put at stake domestic security?
Is Hannoun’s activity going to continue until someone feels inspired enough to take action against Jewish and Israeli targets?
Italy has a history of Palestinian terrorists targeting Jewish and Israeli targets on its soil, and it is worth recalling the October 9th 1982 attack against the Synagogue of Rome, or the December 27th 1985 attack against the El Al desk in Rome-Fiumicino airport (three of the attackers were killed by El Al security). Therefore, such concerns are more than justified.