ROME ““ An Italian pro-Palestinian activist was killed by Palestinian Islamic extremists who had kidnapped him in Gaza on Thursday.
Gaza police on Friday found the hanged body of Vittorio Arrigoni when they stormed an apartment in Gaza City where he was being held.
Hours earlier, his kidnappers, a group inspired by Al Qaida calling itself “Monotheism and Holy War,” had posted a video showing Arrigoni, 36, blindfolded and with cuts on his face.
His head was held up in front of the camera by a hand gripping his hair.
Israeli media reported that Hamas officials had arrested two men in their investigation of the killing, and were searching for others.
Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano called the killing an act of “terrorist barbarism,” and the Foreign Ministry branded it a “vile and irrational gesture of violence on the part of extremists indifferent to the value of a human life.”
Arrigoni had lived in Gaza for several years working with the International Solidarity Movement.
The ISM’s web site describes the group as a “Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli apartheid in Palestine by using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.”
JTA Wire Service