April 15, 2011

Bloodied, Bound And Paraded On YouTube... Then Hanged Hours Later: Horrific Fate Of Peace Activist Vittorio Arrigoni Kidnapped In Gaza! Despite What Many Are Saying, It Wasn't Israel Who Did This!

The Dail Mail UK
written by Staff
Friday April 15, 2011

  • Body of Italian Vittorio Arrigoni was found dumped in a deserted house
  • Activist taken by Islamic hardliners who wanted Hamas to release leader
  • Mass protests by Palestinians and Mr Arrigoni's colleagues in wake of killing
A peace activist has been found hanged in an abandoned house in the Gaza Strip just hours after he was paraded on YouTube by his abductors.

Vittorio Arrigoni, 36, was blindfolded and had been badly beaten before the broadcast. A hand was seen pulling his head up by his hair to face the camera.

The video, posted just hours after the pacifist was kidnapped, sparked a frantic race against time to track him down before he was killed.

But though Hamas security forces quickly received a tip-off about his whereabouts in Gaza's Sheikh Rudawan district, they arrived too late to save him.

Mr Arrigoni, an Italian, was found lying in a corridor in the deserted house. He was dressed in black, in the same clothes he had been wearing in the video.

'It was hard to see him unless someone told you he was there because he was laid against the wall on the floor,' a witness who had been at the scene said.

'There was no sign he was shot. It is believed he was either hanged then laid down, or strangled on the ground.'

Mr Arrigoni had lived in Gaza since August 2008 after arriving on a boat bringing humanitarian supplies.

He was abducted by an Al Qaeda-linked Jihadist group, who were attempting to put pressure on Hamas, which runs the enclave, to release its leader Hesham al-Sa'eedni.

In the Arabic text that accompanied the YouTube video, his kidnappers described Italy as 'the infidel state' and said that Mr Arrigoni had 'entered our land only to spread corruption.'

Even though they demanded the release of their al-Sa'eedni, the group - who call themselves Monotheism and Holy War - gave Hamas no time to hand him over.

Instead, they executed their hostage, who helped Gaza fishermen deal with Israel's tight maritime blockade, and left his body for the security forces to find.

Two men have been arrested and others are being sought.

The scene of the killing in Gaza's Sheikh Rudawan neighbourhood was very tense. The house where the hostage was killed was still cordoned off as investigations continued. cordoned off the house.

Mt Arrigoni's abduction and killing has shocked the stricken region, inured as it is to clashes between Hamas fighters and Israeli forces.

'I was about to cry when I heard the news. That man quit his family for us, for Gaza, and now Gazans killed him. That was so bad,' said supermarket owner Abu Ahmed.

Samira Ali, a teacher, said: 'Those who killed him are not Muslims and certainly not Palestinians.'

Silvia Todeschini, a friend and fellow member of the International Solidarity Movement, worked with Arrigoni in Gaza.

'Victor (Vittorio) worked with the Palestinians, he worked for the Palestinians,' she said.

'He worked with fishermen, he accompanied fishermen when they were going to fish, in non-violent interpositions on the maritime limit imposed by the Israeli navy.

'He used to work with farmers when they used to go to cultivate their lands near the buffer zone with Israel, the scene of many shooting incidents over the past four years.'

Todeschini said activist friends did not believe it when they were told police had found the body of Arrigoni.

'At the beginning we did not believe it, we thought it was just a joke. But then we saw the video and we believed it.'

'We really know that most of the Palestinians are not murderers and that they understand that we are here working for them,' she said.

Hamas vehemently opposes Salafists who espouse a more extreme form of Islam and appear to be attracting recruits - including members of Hamas.

Though it shares al Qaeda's enmity toward the Jewish state, Hamas has provoked Salafist anger by forging truces with the Israelis and considering political deals with secular Palestinian parties.

The Salafists, who see Hamas as insufficiently zealous in enforcing Islamic law, have also attacked Internet cafes and want Christians expelled from Palestine.

Palestinian and Israeli analysts believe some Gaza-based Salafists are foreigners who slipped in through the neighbouring Egyptian Sinai.

Please click HERE to read the entire article... very LONG!

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