This is just sad, really. The guy may have been misguided, but he didn’t deserve this.
The body of an Italian pro-Palestinian activist was found hanging in the home of a Palestinian militant in the Gaza Strip early Friday, hours after he was reportedly kidnapped.
Hamas officials reported that the body of Vittorio Arrigoni, 36, was discovered in the home of a member of the Monotheism and Holy War group that claimed responsibility for the abduction in a video released Thursday.
The last foreigner kidnapped in Gaza was British journalist Alan Johnston in 2007.
A group that claimed to have kidnapped and held BBC correspondent Alan Johnston in Gaza for 114 days in 2007 at one point announced it had killed its Western hostage.
Mercifully the claim turned out not to be true. Mr Johnston was in the hands of a different extremist faction but the hoax showed clearly that Gaza was becoming a hotbed of al-Qaeda linked extremists.
Hamas actually managed to secure Johnston’s release.
That said, there’s still an deep, sad irony in this case – Arrigoni was in Gaza working for the International Solidarity Movement, which has constantly attempted to justify Palestinian violence by saying that it is just a result of the “occupation” and are always denying that there are genuine terrorists operating in these areas motivated by hatred and wanting nothing but to kill Israelis.
Now one of their members has unfortunately suffered the result of their mistake. A video released of him before he was killed said that “the Italian hostage entered our land only to spread corruption” and it described Italy as “the infidel state”.
The video also demanded the release of on of the kidnappers’ leaders, who is being held by Hamas in prison. Again, ISM have supported, or at least refused to condemn, Hamas’ tactic of kidnapping Israelis in order to have a bargaining chip to try and secure the release of convicted terrorists – the most recent example being Gilad Shalit, who is still being held illegaly in Gaza. Tawhid wal-Jihad was following Hamas’ example when they abducted Arrigoni.
I would hope that this incident will cause these groups to reflect on who and what they are really supporting. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t place a lot of value in the prospect of that happening.
The video can be seen below. There’s nothing too graphic, but I would not recommend watching it if you are easily disturbed: