A handout photo made available by Italian State Police (Polizia di Stato) shows the arrests of one of the three Palestinians suspects arrested in the Abruzzo region on suspicion of planning terror attacks on foreign soil. EPA-EFE/POLIZIA DI STATO HANDOUT -- BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE -- MANDATORY CREDIT: POLIZIA DI STATO HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES


Three Palestinians arrested in Italy for allegedly planning terror attacks


Three Palestinians have been arrested in Italy for allegedly planning attacks on an as-yet unspecified country.

The trio was picked up by police in the central Italian city of L’Aquila, close to Rome, on March 11.

The men are said to belong a cell of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB), designated a terrorist group by the European Union and US.

“The suspects … planned attacks, including suicide attacks, against civilian and military targets on foreign territory,” the Italian police alleged.

The law enforcement agency also claimed the suspects “engaged in proselytism and propaganda” on behalf of the AAMB terrorist organisation.

Israel has already requested the extradition of one of the suspects.

The incident comes as fears are rising that the conflict between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Israel puts Europe at risk.

Amid increased tensions in France and fears of terror attacks, the French Government has made the Paris Olympics opening ceremony invite-only.

The AAMB is splinter group of the Fatah party, which currently governs the Palestinian Authority in Gaza’s West Bank.

It broke away from the party in the early 2000s when Fatah – formerly the Palestinian National Liberation Movement – was trying to de-escalate tensions with the Israeli authorities.

The AAMB continued to carry out multiple terrorist attacks killing Israeli civilians.

Since the latest conflict began in the Gaza Strip last October, there have been multiple reports of the AAMB being engaged in the fighting alongside other organisations such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a militant group seeking to establish an Islamist Palestinian state.

The EU is also currently facing a crisis regarding its ongoing aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main UN body responsible for ensuring the supply of humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians.

While many in the bloc are adamant the continued supply of aid to the many refugees in the conflict zone is crucial, the possibility that such aid may be benefiting Hamas terrorists has raised serious questions.

Most recently, Brussels Signal revealed in an exclusive leak that UNRWA had admitted munitions were stored at its Gazan facilities, amid armed groups active there.

In early February, Israel released documents claiming more than 1,000 UNRWA staff were members of Hamas. It further alleged that several UNRWA employees had been involved in the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israeli civilians.

That sparked heated debate in the European Parliament and led to several nations withdrawing their support from UNRWA.

With the humanitarian situation for Gazan civilians rapidly deteriorating, though, many in the EU, both within the European Parliament and national governments, are unwilling to withdraw aid efforts, including regarding those of UNRWA.