Vittorio Arrigoni,36, Italian ISM volunteer in Gaza plus a respectable journalist who always made his best to shed a light on Gaza, was kidnapped yesterday by an “unknown Group”. The group threatened to kill him if Hamas doesn’t respond to their demand: which is to release one of their prisoners in Hamas jails. They gave Hamas 30 hours starting from 11am from 1442011.
At 3 30am 1542011 Reuters News Flash on twitter reported Vittorio’s death, the source was unnamed Hamas source. Then tweets and rumors started asking about the credibility of this news, some started denying while others were confirming. At 4 am Vittorio Arrigoni’s death was confirmed by Hamas officials.
Ministry of Interior, Gaza, issued a press release saying that they immediately moved to search for him once they got the news of his abduction; they did their best until they reached 1 suspect who led them to the other suspects and the place where Vittorio was held in. They entered and found Vittorio already dead. They arrested two suspects and doubt that more accomplices may be involved. The press release also referred that the crime came to shake Gaza’s image and scare international activists away specially after the news of the preparations for a second freedom flotilla. The press release pointed out that the abductors wanted him dead because they killed him after a short while of his abduction. The Ministry of interior promised to follow all the murders, prosecute them and punish them.
The press release of the interior ministry in Gaza didn’t mention more info, no mentioning of the where and when he was abducted, why he was abducted and by whom.
On the other hand, France 24 offered more details –which I cant confirm or deny – about Vittorio’s death and abduction process without mentioning the source behind these info:
The Italian was killed by suffocation and his body was found in a street of the city of Gaza,” a spokesman for the Islamist movement which controls the Gaza Strip told AFP.
Two suspected kidnappers were arrested and security officials are looking for accomplices.
Foreign aid workers in the enclave earlier named the man as Vittorio Arrigoni and said he was an activist with a pro-Palestinian group called the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), who was also working as a journalist and writer.
Vittorio was Italian by birth but his dedication to Palestine and Gaza made him no less Palestinian than any other Palestinian, he came to Gaza many times and live here for a while. He endangered his life numerous times while working as a volunteer with the ISM (International Solidarity Movement) in Gaza when he was trying to protect farmers and fisherman, in addition to his participation in all buffer-zone protests.
Vittorio meant allot for Palestinians, Gazans and his friend everywhere. He is a huge loss for us all, may he rest in peace.
We will never forget you Vik.
Posted by Omar Ghraieb
(Facebook / 15.04.2011)