VITTORIO ARRIGONI KIDNAPPED AND KILLED
IN GAZA STRIP
Vittorio Arrigoni, 36, was an Italian “peace activist’, who for the last 10 years campaigned for recognition of Palestinian human rights under Israeli occupation, one of those radical Europeans who place themselves in the campaign against Israel on the side of the Hamas in Gaza Strip. Even after Israel's forces deported him from the West Bank he still took part in a direct action, associated with the International Solidarity Movement – ISM. To highlight Israel's deportation of peace activists he took a flight to Ben Gurion airport in the hope of being allowed to attend a peace conference in Bethlehem – only to be deported after spending Christmas 2005 in detention.
Vittorio Arrigoni was kidnapped, on Thursday 04/14/2011, by a more radical Islamic Group in Gaza Strip “Tawhid w’al Jihad”, one of a number of Salafist (see - Salafiya) groups in Gaza Strip, referred to generally as Jaljalat. “Tawhid w’al Jihad” is an Islamist movement that considers Hamas as too moderate and is strongly inspired by Al Qaeda. The leader of the group, Mufti Abdel-Latif Moussa, was killed by Hamas Authorities in Gaza Strip on 08/14/2009 (see - Rafah 08.14.09). Abdel-Latif Moussa’s successor, Hisham al-Saidni, was arrested by Hamas security forces on 03/03/2011.
The Salafists had threatened to execute Vittorio Arrigoni by 1400 GMT on Friday unless several prisoners, including their leader, Hisham Saidni (also known as Sheikh Abu Walid al-Maqdasi), were released. But the body of Vittorio Arrigoni was found few hours after his abduction Thursday afternoon. In a video posted on YouTube, Vittorio Arrigoni appeared to have been beaten and his eyes were covered with thick black tape.
It is not clear why Vittorio Arrigoni was killed before the given deadline, but the Hamas interior ministry said he had died soon after being abducted.
Hamas officials said two people had been arrested and others were being sought, but gave no further details. Interior ministry spokesman Ehab al-Ghussein said Vittorio Arrigoni was killed "in an awful way". About 2,000 people in Gaza attended a rally to protest Vittorio Arrigoni‘s killing.
Vittorio Arrigoni was the first foreigner kidnapped in Gaza since BBC journalist Alan Johnston was abducted in 2007.
* The Hamas authorities in Gaza Strip were looking after three suspects in Vittorio Arrigoni‘s killing, Bilal al-Omari, Abdul-Rahman al-Birziti, a Jordanian, and Mohammed al-Salfiti were believed to be inside a house in the Nuseirat area in central Gaza city, on Tuesday 04/19/2011. The Hamas operational force, known as “Tanphizya”, put a siege on the compound. Heavy gunfire and an explosion were reported during the stand-off in which several officers were reportedly injured.
Bilal al-Omari and Abdul-Rahman al-Birziti were killed during the exchange of fire after they blew themselves up with a hand grenade. Mohammed al-Salfiti was wounded and captured along with two other from the Abu-Rollah family who owned the house.
* Related topics ;