A pro-Palestine Italian activist abducted by Islamic extremists has been found hanged in Gaza after police raided an empty building. Vittorio Arrigoni, 36, was kidnapped by hard-line Islamic group Brigade of the Gallant Companion of the Prophet Mohammed bin Muslima. The group apparently has ties with al-Quida.
The Palestinian jihadist group posted a video online on Thursday showing Arrigoni blindfolded, bloodied and bruised, before they reportedly hanged him.
Today police found his body after storming a house in Gaza.
The Italian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the dead man was Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian national who worked for a pro-Palestinian group called the International Solidarity Movement.
Friends of the activist gathered at the hospital where his body was taken, expressing their horror at his killing.
Arrigoni’s colleague said: “He wanted to go home to see his father but at the same time didn’t want to leave here. With the recent escalation he just wanted to be here in case that something would happen.
“I can’t believe that this happened.”
Hamas has condemned the murder. A spokesman told Reuters news that the group responsible is trying to “spread chaos and anarchy in the Gaza Strip.”
Two people were arrested in connection with the abduction and a third is being sought.
Friends of Arrigoni have released a video diary of the first day the activist arrived in Gaza.
“My grandfathers fought and died struggling against an occupation,” Arrigoni says in the video.
“For this reason, in my DNA, blood, there are particles that push me to struggle.”
Watch the Vittorio Arrigoni video here.
Who were Vittorio Arrigoni’s kidnappers?
According to its Youtube video, the group belong to the Salafist movement that accuses Hamas of being too weak with Israel and of failing to conform to and enforce Islamic law in the Gaza Strip.
The group is apparently calling for a return a return to practices that were common in the early days of Islam. And refuse to accept any ceasefires.