Kidnapped Italian Activist Found Dead In Gaza

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Hamas forces found Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni dead this morning in the Gaza strip, just hours after being kidnapped by a radical Islamist group with links to al-Qaeda.

Al-Jazeera has a statement from Hamas officials.

EHAB AL-GHSSAIN: "One of the group confessed about the rest of the group. This led us to the place where the activist was kept. We moved very quickly and we found the body. It was killed in a brutal way. The doctor confirms it was killed hours before our arrival."

The group that kidnapped Arrigoni had demanded Hamas release several of its high-ranking members. Arrigoni was killed well before the given deadline. Hamas quickly condemned the incident.
Arrigoni was a pro-Palestine activist in the Gaza strip for ten years. Euronews speaks with one woman who knew him.

WOMAN: "Vik... It kind of feels that this is his home. Like, he wanted to go home to see his father, but at the same time he just didn't want to leave here. Now, with the recent escalation, he just wanted to be here in case something would happen."

Arrigoni's death has also raised questions about Hamas' control over the region, which has analysts from CNN wondering how long they can maintain order.

PHIL BLACK: "Hamas prides itself on taking a pretty strict approach to law and order, so in that sense it's not going to be happy about this.... Hamas had already outlawed these sorts of hostage takings, so this action was very much in open defiance of Hamas and its control..."

A writer for Haaretz agrees, saying Hamas' lack of a unified goal is adding to its failing control.

"It is not a monolithic organization; some of its wings are in favor of long-term truces with Israel, others even speak about actual peace. Some are in favor of reconciliation with Fatah; others believe that only the establishment of a Palestinian state under Shariah law west of the Jordan is an acceptable long-term goal."

Hamas says it has detained two men suspected of involvement in Arrigoni's death.

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