Gazans angered over Arrigoni hit

[ 16/04/2011 – 10:32 AM ]

GAZA, (PIC)– Sadness and anger prevailed the Gaza Strip after the murder of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni on Friday after he was kidnapped by a Salafi-linked group on Thursday.

Arrigoni was found hung in a Gaza Strip home Friday morning just a few hours after a video of him bound and blindfolded was posted on Youtube. The clip was claimed by armed Salafists demanding that the government in Gaza release its elements.

Arrigoni was considered one of the pillars of the international pro-Palestinian movement. He devoted much attention to protecting the Palestinians and exposing Israeli crimes against them.

He landed in the Gaza Strip in August 2008 on board the siege-breaking ship tagged Free Gaza after Israel asked him to leave the West Bank after spending seven years there. Since his stay in Gaza, he had spent most of his time serving the interests of the Palestinians by writing daily reports on the humanitarian situation in the Strip due to the Israeli siege and escalated attacks.

He spent the last three years monitoring and documenting Israeli human rights violations against Gaza fishermen and residents.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip expressed shock over the acts leading to Arrigoni’s death, saying they went beyond law, values and morals.

”I want to know why they killed him,” said Palestinian woman Iman Abdul-Salam. ”Didn’t he come to support the Palestinians and end the siege?”

”It is impossible that the one who killed this person was a Palestinian,” she said angrily. ”He certainly had outside agenda in harmony with Israel’s talks of thwarting the Freedom Flotilla 2 from reaching Gaza in their own ways.”

”This was one of their own ways,” she said.

Mohammed Issa, an elderly Gazan, called on the government to carry out the death penalty on those who planned, financed or carried out the murder.

”How can we kill our guests, whoever they are?” he said. ”Let alone those who come to end the siege and help us.”

Salama Maarouf, the deputy chief of the government media bureau, has declared that the murder was ”a failed attempt to restore chaos and anarchy in Gaza”. He confirmed that the culprits were linked to Israeli objectives to curb the international pro-Palestinian movement.

In a statement that followed the incident, member of the European campaign to end the siege on Gaza Mohammed Hanoun said: ”We do not rule out that Israel or one of its elements was behind the kidnapping and murder operation, as a message to threaten the arrival of activists on the Freedom Flotilla 2 expected to set sail (to Gaza) next month.”

Hamas has condemned the Arrigoni killing in a statement released Friday.

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