Activist hints Israel was behind Arrigoni killing

[ 16/04/2011 - 08:30 AM ]

BRUSSELS, (PIC)-- Israel may have had its ”fingers” in the recent abduction and murder of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni, said Mohammad Hanoun, a Freedom Flotilla 2 activist said in a press statement Friday.

He said the hit served as a warning message for activists on board the Gaza-bound flotilla to back down before the convoy's expected arrival mid-May. Senior Israeli officials had warned that they were ready to attack the convoy if it tried to break the Israeli military blockade on the tiny enclave of the Gaza Strip.

Arrigoni's body was found in a Gaza home on Friday after he was kidnapped by armed men. The Gaza government has so far arrested two suspects in the murder.

The Italian pacifist, who worked with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement (ISM), had been living in Gaza since August 2008 and spent another six years in the West Bank before he was ejected by Israel.

”We do not rule out that Israel or elements belonging to it were behind the kidnapping, as a message of threat and influence to the arrival of activists on the Freedom Flotilla 2,” said Hanoun, who is a member of the European campaign to end the siege on Gaza in Brussels.

”If Vittorio's abduction was to pressure a Palestinian party to have demands met, then why did these [suspects] not abduct a member of the Palestinian party, for example,” the activist said, suggesting that the kidnapping which preceded the hit was not actually designed to pressure Hamas to release Salafist men it was holding.

Religious affairs minister condemns the murder

”It is known that our tolerant religion [Islam] forbids killing a person,” said Gaza religious affairs minister Salih al-Raqeb. ”Among the people protected in Islam are those who enter the country safely to carry out a task and then return to their countries. The Italian and his ilk have come to our lands as reporters, activists and the like, and his murder was due to a lack of [knowledge of Islam] and the spread of ignorance, which is a cause of the incidence and spread of sedition.”

”Therefore, the government must enforce the Islamic ruling on those who kill Muslims and non-Muslims without right,” Raqeb said.

”This crime carries malicious intent to harm the interests of the Palestinians and the Palestinian government in Gaza and goes in total harmony with what the West has been falsely promoting about Islam that it is religion of killing, which strengthens the enemy and increases its supporters,” the Palestinian League of Scholars has said.
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