Snatched Italian Activist Found Dead in Gaza

Hamas denounces murder of pro-Palestinian peacenik
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2011 1:18 AM CDT
International activist Vittorio Utmpio Arrigoni, from Italy, flashes victory sign while standing on the "Free Gaza" boat, after its arrival in Gaza in 2008.   (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa, Files)
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(Newser) – An Italian peace activist was found dead in the Gaza Strip hours after he had been kidnapped by a group of Islamic radicals. Vittorio Arrigoni, who had been active in the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement for more than a decade, was hanged by his kidnappers, AP reports. The al-Qaeda-linked group had released a video of the bloodied and blindfolded captive, and demanded that Hamas release its leader, who was arrested last month.

The body was found after police stormed a house. They believe the extremists never planned to exchange Arrigoni for captives, and killed him soon after he was abducted. Arrigoni, 36, arrived in Gaza in 2008 on a boat of activists protesting the Israeli blockade, and lived in the Palestinian territory ever since, working as a journalist and remaining active in anti-blockade activities. Hamas officials denounced the killing as "a crime that does not reflect the values, morals, religion and customs" of the people of Gaza.

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