News / Europe

Kidnapped Italian Activist Killed in Gaza

International activist Vittorio Arrigoni, from Italy, holds his passport during a protest against the Israeli siege on Gaza, in Gaza City (File 2008)
International activist Vittorio Arrigoni, from Italy, holds his passport during a protest against the Israeli siege on Gaza, in Gaza City (File 2008)
TEXT SIZE - +
Luis Ramirez

Vittorio Arrigoni was abducted on Thursday. Members of the Tawhid and Jihad, a known Salafist group, posted a video online saying they would kill him unless the rival Hamas, the Islamist militant group that controls Gaza, would release Salafists that are in prison in Gaza.

Within a few hours of the warning, security officials in Gaza say they found Arrigoni's body in an empty house.

They say he had been hanged or strangled.

A video posted online showed his face bloodied and his eyes blindfolded with tape.

Gaza journalist Mohamed Dawas, reporting for VOA, says Hamas condemned the killing and made arrests.

"They described it to be a terrible crime that is against our religion, against our morals," said Dawas. "This crime, they said, does not reflect the reality of what's on the ground in Gaza [regarding] security and order."

Hamas has been battling the Salafists in Gaza for months. The Salafists accuse Hamas, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization, of being too moderate for failing to impose strict Islamic law and not using more force against Israel.  

Beverley Milton-Edwards is a specialist in Palestinian Islamist groups at Queens University Belfast. She says the Salafist groups present the biggest domestic threat to Hamas.

"They have engaged in such kidnapping attacks on foreigners," said Milton-Edwards. "What they want the Hamas government to do is to become a very fundamentalist form of government, and that means that the Hamas government should become more like al-Qaida and should have nothing to in terms of temporal matters such as cease-fires with a group or a nation that's regarded as an enemy such as Israel and the Jewish people."

Salafists have been accused of attacking Internet cafes and calling for the expulsion of Christians.

Gaza residents say activist Vittorio Arrigoni arrived there years ago aboard a vessel that made it past the Israeli blockade and had worked to further the cause of the people of Gaza.

In the text of one of the videos they posted, his captors said he had entered their land to spread corruption, and described Italy as an infidel state.

The Tawhid and Jihad group later denied posting the video or any involvement in the killing of Arrigoni.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid